Do most people who have an abortion regret it?

I think the question is pretty straight-forward. I don’t want broad generalizations but rather your observations either from personal experience or people you know.

I only know one person who has had an abortion and she deeply regretted it. Maybe she was in the minority with her feelings.

This isn’t a thread trying to attack abortion or people who have had one. Sadly, our society is so pig-headed that we often shame people who do things we may consider wrong instead of reaching out in love.

Please, please, please don’t post in this thread unless your message relates directly to this specific angle of the abortion topic. Don’t ruin my thread!

In (my hick) high school, i met a girl in my art class who had had an abortion. she was only 15 at the time. we got to be good friends, and she told me of her experience. she had a boyfriend who was 25 and who lived next door. she got pregnant, but her parents wouldn’t let her keep the baby. she pleaded with them, but they said they wouldn’t raise her children for her. she offered to quit school to raise the baby, but they said they wouldn’t support her and her child. so, she had the abortion, and she and her boyfriend paid for it themselves. her parents put her on birth control, but she told me that she has refused to have sex with him until they are married. She regrets the actual abortion, but she holds no hard feelings toward her parents because she realizes that they gave her the opportunity to finish high school and even go on to beauty school, like she’s always wanted. she was a real sweet girl, and i regret the whole situation for her because it gives her great pain to talk about it.

If I can be nosy and ask, what was a 15-year-old girl doing sleeping with a 25-year-old man?


Am I the only one who really wants to “ruin” this thread now?


Anyway, I’ve never had an abortion. I’ve never even been pregnant. I don’t know anyone who has ever had an abortion. So, basically, I have no idea what I’m talking about. But I would guess that most people feel a bit of guilt after an abortion. Most women suffer from a form of depression after carrying a baby to term and going through a natural child birth resulting in a healthy baby. So, if they get depressed from that, I imagine terminating a pregnancy would come with a bit of guilt/saddness/regret. Then again, I have really no clue what I’m talking about.

i warned you it was a hick high school. it was commonplace for a girl to have a boyfriend who was out of high school and usually 5-10 years older. my school was also filled with inappropriate teacher-student relationships. three cheers for backward America.

Of course this is different for everyone. I’ve gone through both abortion and the birth of a child, and my mother has done the same.

I love my son with all of my heart, but have no deep feelings, good or bad, concerning my abortions. (There were two, three years apart.) I made the decision to protect myself and my son by doing what I felt had to be done. I wasnt in the position to raise a child financially and after a messy divorce with my sons father, I wasnt about to give another lifelong commitment a go.

I regretted not taking more precautions against becoming pregnant… but I’ve never regretted the decision itself.
My mother, on the other hand, carries an unsettling heaviness concerning her choice. She’s written songs and cried endlessly for her self-inflicted loss.
Why so different? I can only assume its because of the environment we were each exposed to as a result. She’s become a devout Christian and carries alot of self-loathing for what she’s done because its not accepted by her peers. Its looked down upon and the only way you can go through it and still be a decent fanatic Christian (in her church, anyhow) is to feel an insane amount of remorse and self-hatred for what you’ve done.

I, on the other hand, dont subscribe to a particular religion. I dont hold the same beliefs on what is and isnt murder. My friends and partner both supported my decision and never attempted to change my mind or guilt me for my choices. Because of this and my own beliefs… I dont regret it at all. Im just thankful that we have the choice in the first place.

I regret that it was necessary, but I feel no guilt about having done it. Actually, I seldom think about it, and I don’t think it had any major impact on my life. Getting pregnant was just one of those things I did as a teenager that seems a lot more stupid the older I get.

Do male opinions count?

It’s not something I typically talk about, but an old girlfriend of mine had an abortion while I was with her (i.e. my child). I can’t fully speak for her, but I don’t think she had any real regrets about it; she was on various medications at the time that all had the potentional for serious birth defects. That and her simple lack of maturity made abortion the “right” choice, as least as far as we were concerned. I won’t say it was the easiest thing in the world, but it was sort of easy to rationalize in its own way, right or wrong. As for myself, I think about it on occassion. I don’t know if I regret it happening (I regret that it had to happen - we should have been more careful - but not that actual act itself) but it’s impossible for me not to dwell on from time to time.

I’ve been pregnant five times, and given birth three times. Of the other two, one was aborted by choice, the other was miscarried.

My first pregnancy resulted in the birth of a beautiful baby girl, that I relinquished for adoption at birth. That was my choice, and I do not regret it.

My second pregnancy was aborted. That too was my choice, and I don’t regret it.

My third pregnancy was the miscarriage. That one makes me sad, because while it was not planned, my husband and I were delighted by the pregnancy. But the sadness doesn’t overwhelm me. Just the occasional twinge every now and again.

My fourth & fifth pregnancies resulted in the two children I talk about too much here on the boards, the Little Goddess & BabyGuy. LG was planned. BG was not. I love them both to bits, and they’ve made my life so much richer.

Like malkavia, the feelings surrounding the abortion I had are not deep. The abortion, the adoption, and the births of my other two children were all choices I had to make, and I firmly believe that every choice I made was the right one for me, at the time I had to make it. That is what’s important, IMHO. Abortion is not an easy choice to make, not by any stretch of the imagination. I am glad that I did have the choice, though.

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

Ever seen “Varsity Blues”? My High School was just like that. Student - Teacher sex, 25 year olds dating 15 year olds without a second thought, 30 year olds still coming to all the high school parties.

Thank God I’m out.


I have a friend that had an abortion when she was a teenager. She is Christian. She was 16 at the time and was in a bad relationship. She had a bright future ahead of her, big activities at school and had no way to handle a pregnancy at her age. She opted for an abortion. She thinks of the child that might have been, how old it would be, what it would be like. She also thinks of how to handle this if any additional children she may have ever bring up abortion.
She has never voiced regrets. She takes what happened very seriously and thinks about it occasionally, without sadness but with thoughfulness.

Ursula Le Guin said she did not. She wrote a very moving story about her experience.

Lots of my friends have gone through “am I pregnant or not? HELP!!” phases - which - thank goodness - always ended with getting their periodes so far.
I am always the one who tells them to take the pill after, go see the doc instead of making a home test (the damn things just dont work well)and try to be there for them. But that doesnt change a thing, does it?
It happens all the time.
My gramma had two abortions. It was the war you know.
A classmates mom had an abortion when they found out their child would be handicapped.
And a schoolfriend lost her baby right after she and her boyfriend had decided to keep it.

who is glad not to have been in that situation yet.
Hope I ll have the luck not to get into that situation ever.


know a few people that had 'em

As for me, it was 24 years ago, I was 18. I have never had the tiniest twinge of regret, not even for an instant. Not a bit of guilt, not a drop of sorrow. I became pregnant out of my own arrogant stupidity, and I aborted in the 7th week. I never even considered anything else.

The abortion itself was a total drag. Very painful and unpleasant.

I have several friends and a sister who have all had abortions, one of which I witnessed. I have never heard any one of them express regret, even though two of them went on to become mothers.

So, at least in my circle, kinda blows your theory.

As for those of you who say you don’t know anyone who has had an abortion… unless you know very few people, you are probably mistaken. Maybe no one you know has TOLD you about their abortion, but it’s a safe bet you know someone who has had one. Especially if you know a fair number of sexually active women.


I knew a girl in 8th grade who had 3 abortions just that yearsigh

Anyway, if I had one, I’m sure it would regret the hell out of it just because I’m that type. I cry when I see dead squirrels on the side of the road, you know? It terrifies me to think that I considered aborting Nicky. I was on a lot of medications, most of which affect the brain, and I was sure he’d come out with 9 arms and 3 heads etc. Fortunately we talked to a genetic counsellor and found out the actual statistics, and I continued my pregnancy – though it was “high risk” and I got to have lots of extra ultrasounds (yay! those are so cool!) and my baby was born absolutely 100% perfect, with only 5 arms and two heads! ( )

I think that it depends on the person, the circumstances, and a bunch of other things whether or not a woman will regret it.

Calling Dr. Laura… :rolleyes:

OK, OK…I have had two abortions, and I regretted that I was dumb enough to become pregnant, but not the abortions themselves. Both were in about the 8th week.

I have also had three miscarriages, and one tubal pregnancy; at times when I was willing to have a child. I feel more sad about these. Now, at (almost) 43, I have no children, and were I to get pregnant it’s highly unlikely I would go full term anyhow. Moot point; the only person I’ve had sex with in the last 2 years has had a vasectomy.

Back in high school (rural Scotland, early '70s. Talk about backwards!), abortions were illegal. One of my best friends became pregnant at 15. She had plans to leave the island, go to college, and escape her dysfunctional, alcoholic, abusive family. Because she could not have an abortion, she dropped out of school, had her daughter, and lived at home.
Now, my age, she is an alcoholic, uneducated grandmother, still waitressing at the same cheesy restaurant she worked in 18 years ago. Not to say she wouldn’t have ended up like this had she been able to have an abortion. But I do think she would have had a better chance to escape her destiny. She has turned into her mother, and that’s sad.

I have had two. One when I was sixteen. I don’t know exactly how far along I was but it was around the 16 wk. area. I found out I was pregnant the day before Christmas and I didn’t tell my parents until late February. The whole experience was unpleasant. I feel like my parents would have supported me if I had the baby but I didn’t want to. It was a procedure that involved me going in two days in a row. Afterward I had some of the same effects as giving birth (milk came in, bled for 6 weeks passing “stuff”).
The second one came 4 years later. I was two weeks when I found out so I had to wait a few weeks to even go in. It was no big deal, and I ended up calming one of the girls down that was there. She was freaked out about pain, regret, stuff like that.
I am now pregnant again (four years later, again). I am having this baby. I have never felt any regret or remorse about the past abortions until now. The second one is basically a non-event in my life. I even forgot about it when I was first telling the Dr. how many times I have been pregnant. The second one has become more difficult to deal with. The main thing was going in for a check-up during the week when the first pregnancy was aborted. It gave me that “what did I do?” kind of feeling. So I still don’t know how I feel about it, eight years later. I was ok until this. I am doing much better now and have made peace with it almost. I guess this doesn’t answer your question very well, but maybe it is different for every woman and maybe it has something to do with how far along you are when you terminate. A lot of my guilt feelings come from the fact that I was a scared 16 year old who knew she was pregnant for a couple of months before doing anything about it. I feel bad about not taking responsibility sooner, but I can’t change that now.
BTW, I’m ok talking about it so if you have any questions please feel free to ask, but I did not open myself up to be barraged with reprimands so you can keep those to yourself, thank you very much.

As someone who’s volunteered for Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups, most of the women I’ve known who had abortions, with very few exceptions, did NOT regret them or feel guilty. I believe PP did a study on the after-effects of abortion and found no difference in mental heath between those who gave birth and those who aborted.


Some do, some don’t. Some change their mind later where they do or don’t regret it. No set answer.

Why did you say ‘most people?’ are you saying that men can have abortions?

“Why did you say ‘most people?’ are you saying that men can have abortions?”

No, handy, just said it without thinking. I consider women people; it’s this crazy thing I have.

On the other hand, I do greatly appreciate the men who responded to this thread. Abortion does involve men, I don’t think anyone is saying that it doesn’t. I admit, when I started the thread I was mostly thinking about women, but if men are intimately involved with the woman and the child when it is actually born, I imagine the same would go for when it is not.

Did people think I was implying that most women regretted abortion? I was just asking. Anyway, keep responding everyone; I’m enjoying reading about your honest experiences.