Abortion Healing

I Thought Abortion Would Bring Relief

The abortion was supposed to be a quick fix, but as hard as I tried the memories wouldn’t stay buried. At the time, I had no idea my abortion would affect me. Right after the abortion, all I felt was relief. The crisis was over and I was moving on. As time went on, I felt emptiness and pain from my abortion rising to the surface. I wrestled with feelings of guilt, grief, and anger.


Post Abortion Symptoms

Sometimes post-abortive people do not realize their symptoms are related to their past. Many women blame other stresses in their lives for their pain. These stressors may mask the loss created by the abortions. Your abortion may still be affecting you weeks, months, or decades later. One study shows an 81% increased risk of mental health problems after abortion1. How many of your symptoms match our list?

If you match two or more symptoms, we suggest you seek post-abortive counseling.

Mental Health Symptoms + Triggers

  • Dependence on drugs or alcohol 1-2, 4, 15 - most common
  • Suicidal thoughts or impulses1-5, 15, 19

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • Anxiety1-2, 6-8, 11, 19
  • Grief 10-11, 15 and Depression1-2, 6, 11, 16, 19
  • Eating disorders15
  • Sleep disorders9, 12-13, 16 or nightmares18
  • PTSD symptoms, including self-harm18-19
  • Flashbacks of the abortion18-19
  • Avoiding reminders of the abortion18

Emotional Symptoms

  • Anger towards self or others10, 15-16 - common
  • Guilt10, 16, 19 and Shame15
  • Fear of others finding out15
  • Fear that God will punish you or is punishing you16, 18
  • Low self esteem15
  • Emotional numbness15, 17, 19

Relational Symptoms

  • Sexual dysfunction13, 15, 17
  • Involvement in unhealthy relationships13
  • Isolation or feeling alone with no one to talk to15-16
  • Preoccupations with becoming pregnant again (Replacement pregnancies)14
  • Anxiety over fertility and childbearing issues10, 19
  • Uncomfortable around babies, pregnant women, or children17-18

No Matter Where You Are In Life. We're Here To Help You!

We have free and confidential services for women of all ages. We are here to walk by your side every step of the way. 


  1. Coleman, P. (2011). Abortion and mental health: Quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–2009. British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(3), 180-186. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.077230
  2. Sullins, D. P. Abortion, substance abuse and mental health in early adulthood: Thirteen-year longitudinal evidence from the United States. SAGE Open Med. 4, 11 (2016).
  3. Morgan, C. L., Evans, M. & Peters, J. R. Suicides after pregnancy. Mental health may deteriorate as a direct effect of induced abortion. BMJ 314, 902 (1997).
  4. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J. & Boden, J. M. Does abortion reduce the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy? A re-appraisal of the evidence. Aust. N. Z. J. Psychiatry 47, 819–27 (2013).
  5. Luo, M. et al. Association between induced abortion and suicidal ideation among unmarried female migrant workers in three metropolitan cities in China: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 18, 625 (2018).
  6. Reardon, D. C. et al. Psychiatric admissions of low-income women following abortion and childbirth. CMAJ 168, 1253–1256 (2003).
  7. Dingle, K., Alati, R., Clavarino, A., Najman, J. M. & Williams, G. M. Pregnancy loss and psychiatric disorders in young women: An Australian birth cohort study. Br. J. Psychiatry 193, 455–460 (2008).
  8. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J. & Boden, J. M. Abortion and mental health disorders: Evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study. Br. J. Psychiatry 193, 444–451 (2008).
  9. Reardon, D. C. & Coleman, P. K. Relative treatment rates for sleep disorders and sleep disturbances following abortion and childbirth: a prospective record-based study. Sleep 29, 105–106 (2006).
  10. Burke, T. & Reardon, D. C. Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion. (Acorn Books, 2007).
  11. Major B, Appelbaum M, Beckman L, et al. Report of the APA Task Force on mental health and abortion. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2008, 105 pp, http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion/mental-health.pdf [Google Scholar]
  12. Reardon, D. C. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE Open Med. 6, 205031211880762 (2018).
  13. Ertelt, S. (2009, March 30). Study: Abortions cause future relationship problems, more domestic violence. LifeNews.com. Retrieved April 4, 2022, from https://www.lifenews.com/2009/03/30/nat-4946/ 
  14. Elliot Institute. (2021, July 16). Replacement pregnancies are common after abortion. New study shows 1 in 3 pregnant again within two years. afterabortion.org. AfterAbortion.org. Retrieved April 4, 2022, from https://afterabortion.org/replacement-pregnancies-are-common-after-abortion-new-study-shows-1-in-3-pregnant-again-within-two-years/ 
  15. Smith, T. A. (2018, October 26). Questionnaire shows high rate of depression, guilt in post-abortive women. ClinicQuotes. Retrieved April 7, 2022, from https://clinicquotes.com/questionnaire-shows-high-rate-of-depression-guilt-in-post-abortive-women/ 
  16. Smith, T. A. (2018, July 19). Survey of post-abortion women reveals emotional turmoil. ClinicQuotes. Retrieved April 7, 2022, from https://clinicquotes.com/survey-of-post-abortion-women-reveals-emotional-turmoil/ 
  17. Smith, T. A. (2021, November 20). Psychotherapist with 20 years experience describes post-abortion trauma. ClinicQuotes. Retrieved April 7, 2022, from https://clinicquotes.com/psychotherapist-with-20-years-experience-describes-post-abortion-trauma/ 
  18. Lawyer, W. (2021, December 10). Post-abortion stress syndrome: It's real. Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome: Parents Are Victims Too. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.hli.org/resources/post-abortion-stress-syndrome/ 
  19. Babbel, S. (2010, October 25). Post abortion stress syndrome (PASS) - does it exist? Psychology Today. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201010/post-abortion-stress-syndrome-pass-does-it-exist