Women are told that abortion is an easy, practical, and pain-free solution for an unwanted pregnancy. It is compared to any other safe, medical procedure. Yet the reality often proves otherwise.

Many women experience emotional distress from having an abortion that lasts for months or even years following the procedure.

When abortion was first legalized in the United States, pro-abortionists claimed that from a scientific perspective, an unborn baby was nothing more than blank tissue. Today, we know that is not the case. We know that an unborn child has a heartbeat, a fully formed body, and can feel physical pain. 

In the aftermath of an abortion, the reality of these facts can often create intense feelings of guilt, shame, or regret. These emotional effects can influence the lives of both men and women, making it hard to form deep connections with others, begin new relationships, or experience intimacy. 

In the United States, more than 1.2 million women will abort a pregnancy each year. Despite the prevalence, many women do not know about the potential emotional effects of terminating a pregnancy. 

A study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry found that women who had one or more pregnancies terminated were 81% more likely to have mental health problems than women who had not terminated a pregnancy. 

Unfortunately, the abortion industry is not transparent about the mental and emotional impact of abortion regret. This causes what’s known as “Disenfranchised Grief”.

What is Disenfranchised Grief?

Disenfranchised Grief occurs when someone’s suffering and grieving does not fit the mold of perceived social norms. In other words, if society doesn’t think you should grieve an abortion as a “loss’ then you’re not allowed to grieve. This lack of support causes many women to suffer in silence, prolonging the grieving process and magnifying any trauma.

Chemical or physical pregnancy termination can be a traumatic experience, and feeling depressed or anxious afterward isn’t abnormal. Oftentimes, trauma does not always occur immediately following an event. Some women will not feel the emotional effects until years later. Delayed-onset trauma can manifest as emotional numbness, anger issues, decreased self-confidence, anxiety, and suicidal ideations.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these struggles, Choices Pregnancy Centers are here to help. 

Support Services: Hope for the Future

The thought of sharing your feelings with a stranger may seem scary, but receiving counseling and support is the best way to address the emotional trauma you are carrying. Until you have made peace with the past, you will continually battle guilt and other negative emotions. While you may struggle to believe it right now, healing is possible

No matter what happened in your past, know that you are loved and you matter. You can always find a fresh start through God’s grace. He invites you to cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Seeking help from God and from compassionate, qualified counselors is the first step towards healing, renewal, and transformation. 

Seek Support at Choices Pregnancy Centers in Phoenix, AZ

If you feel regret or guilt following your decision to abort your pregnancy, the first step is reaching out for support. While you may feel hopeless and as if you will never feel “normal” again, healing is possible. At Choices Pregnancy Centers, our advocates are ready to help you with care and empathy.

Support services are confidential and provide a safe space to work through your grief. At Choices, we have both individual counseling and support groups. Support groups meet every second and fourth Wednesday and are typically 90 minutes long; for individuals looking for private sessions, private counseling can be scheduled twice per week. During your sessions, you’ll be able to discuss your feelings and process the pain you are experiencing.

Break free from the negative emotions that keep you tied to the past. You are not the sum of your mistakes! You are loved! Our free, confidential counseling services have helped hundreds of people find peace—call, text, or email Choices Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix to begin your journey to healing. Caring Choices team members are ready to support you.