Dealing with abortion guilt can be emotionally and physically draining. Whether you recently had an abortion, or it has been years since it happened, you might be struggling with your decision. Feeling regret or even sadness after an abortion isn’t unusual. Even if you know it was the right choice for your individual circumstances, it doesn’t make living with it any easier.

If dealing with abortion guilt has become a struggle for you, there are resources to help you cope. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can help you sort through your emotions and refer you to after-abortion care programs designed to help you heal from your abortion trauma.  

What emotions can you feel after an abortion?

Every woman is different. What you feel after having an abortion may not be the same experience for another woman. Some of the most common emotions women reported feeling post-abortion included grief, guilt, sadness, and relief.

Depression after abortion

Women who initially feel relieved about their decision may later experience guilt over feeling happy about their choice. These feelings of guilt can eventually turn into depression. How can you tell if you’re depressed after an abortion? Look for these signs:

  • You struggle with feelings of irritability or anger.
  • You have a difficult time focusing and making decisions.
  • You lack energy and may be sleeping too much.
  • You lost interest in activities you previously enjoyed.

Grief after abortion

Even if you decide abortion is the best pregnancy option, you can still mourn the pregnancy afterwards. Grief after abortion can last for months or even years. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers one-on-one sessions with a trained member of our staff. We also can refer you to group or individual counseling services.

Relief after abortion

It’s OK to feel relieved after an abortion. Coping with an unplanned pregnancy can be stressful. After exploring all your pregnancy options, you may decide abortion is right for you. Feeling like a burden has been lifted can be a common feeling afterward.

How long does it take to recover emotionally from an abortion?

The short answer to this question is, it depends. For some women, they can rebound quickly. Others may struggle with their emotions and need mental health services to help them cope.  Healing emotionally after an abortion can happen sooner if you follow these steps.

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve
    Even if abortion was the right pregnancy option for your circumstances, you can still be sad about it. Allowing yourself time to grieve afterward can facilitate the healing process. If you had an abortion years ago but never gave yourself time to process your feelings, it’s never too late to do so, especially if you continue to struggle with the decision. Remind yourself that all feelings after an abortion are valid. Working through whatever you’re feeling is the first step toward healing.
  2. Find a safe space to process your feelings
    Processing your feelings after an abortion can be tricky. There’s no shame in realizing you need help to sort through them so your healing journey can begin. Finding a safe space to work through everything is essential. Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers of Albuquerque can be that safe haven for you.
  3. Share your story
    Sharing your story with other women who have been through abortion can help you heal faster. Group counseling sessions and support groups are ideal settings for connecting with other abortion survivors who share your grief, your guilt, or your relief. Care Net can refer you to these kinds of community resources to help you cope.  
Your partner may struggle with the decision to have an abortion and need additional support.

Can partners experience abortion guilt?

Absolutely. You’re not the only one who may be feeling guilty, angry, or grieving after an abortion. Your partner can struggle with all the same emotions. Very few studies have been done on the effects of abortion on men. The limited ones that exist confirm that men also may need emotional support after their partners choose abortion.

Men who pressured their partners into having an abortion may initially feel relief over their actions. Later, they can experience distress, guilt, and grief. These feelings can manifest differently in men than women. Men struggling with their feelings about their partner’s abortion can engage in self-destructive behavior. Drug and alcohol abuse are common.

If your partner is struggling with your decision to abort, support groups and counseling programs exist that can help them sort through their feelings.

Dealing with abortion guilt requires support

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is a judgment-free zone. If you or your partner are having difficulty dealing with abortion guilt, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a session with a member of our caring staff at one of five convenient locations.