Overwhelming majority of U.S. women don’t regret abortion

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Research finds few women regret abortion. Image 
courtesy of Beatriz Galscon via Shutterstock

Research finds few women regret abortion. Image courtesy of Beatriz Galscon via Shutterstock

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(Reuters) More than 95 percent of women surveyed in a new U.S. study said they didn't regret having an abortion and felt that the procedure was the right decision for them.

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  • jimmycrackcorn

    I thought there were all these studies saying abortion caused PTSD

  • Be Brave

    So having an abortion influences a woman to become a sociopath.

    Very interesting finding.

  • Dominic

    So what else will the women say? That they regret killing an inconvenient baby? We all rationalize our sins as “necessary” in order to maintain our sanity. Today’s women have been bombarded by the lie that abortion is akin to going to the dentist. The moral self-reflection on what they are doing his been muted to almost nothing. It’s legality negates the shame that they should feel, and allows them to believe they have done the right (good) thing. People around them will most likely pat them on the back. This is how immoral the world is becoming.

    Concentrating on the removal of the Confederate flag is a top priority now. Think of the millions who now suffer PTSD for having flown it in the past. They will need our help now.

  • Bernardo

    And said women make up one of the largest voting blocs in the USA (30-43 million voters in 2016) making the pro-choice/pro-abortion candidate a guaranteed victor in the 2016 presidential election i.e. the Republicans will lose again.

  • Larry

    The original claim was rather dubious from the moment it popped up in anti abortion canned screeds. I am not surprised.

  • Karen

    Considering the fact we have had Republican Presidents combined with a Republican majority in Congress, it should be a given they would have done away with abortion in this ‘christian’ country because they are the political party of jesus. I smell lots of rats in the so called conservative movement…..Jesus called them ‘hypocrites and brood of vipers.’

    Me thinks the Republican party really doesn’t care about abortions, babies, people in general….just the money trail.

    Time for churches to stop playing politics in promoting their favorite hypocritical Republican candidate……some pastors mock Hillary Clinton from the pulpit system all the while supporting equally immoral presidents such as the Bush family. And we call this Christianity……blaaaa.

  • Tom Downs

    Note that the negative feelings came not from the medical procedure but the stigma some people attach to abortion. Actions of condemnation from family, friends, and church may be the source of the emotional distress.

  • Wes

    Karen, as usual, Christianity is part of the problem. So “blaaaa” back at ya!

  • Flora

    “…commissioned by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health.”

    Enough said.

    Biased survey aside, is lack of regret supposed to mean the action is good/acceptable? That’s interesting, considering scores of rapists/murderers/thieves would report no regret for their actions, either.

  • Lorraine

    Try asking someone who aborted 10 or 20 years ago. It’s like any other trauma, often the emotional/psychological/spiritual damage doesn’t show up until years later. And even if they don’t seem to regret it, most, if not all, manifest some disfigurement of their soul, either in how they treat the children they ultimately have, or in some self-punishment or self-medication, or in belligerent, even fanatical, pro-abortion positions as they angrily defend what their hearts know is abominable. A seared conscience manifests in different ways from a properly formed conscience, but both will show the scar on their soul in one way or another either sooner, or much later.

  • eurram

    TOUCHE!

  • Paula

    For what its worth Wes, clergy were often leading the fight for abortion rights, back in the day, and shepherding women to safe underground doctors before abortion was legal. That the Christian Right and the Catholic Church own the headlines does not eclipse the fact that every mainline Protestant denomination, think: Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc. . . support a woman’s right to choose.

    Some early history can be found here, at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. http://rcrc.org/homepage/about/history/

  • I’ve regretted my abortion for the past 35 years and will until the day I die. Don’t be deceived. All women mourn the loss of their child. Many (95%?!) hurt so deeply they are unable to accept what they’ve allowed. Denial. Only our Lord through His Immaculate Mother can restore their life.

  • Garson Abuita

    Flora, it doesn’t mean that abortion is good or acceptable. It means that the Christian right’s 40-year argument that abortion emotionally harms women is a load of horse manure.

  • Laurie

    This is called the searing of conscience and is a very ominous sign.

  • Interesting and informative. I do think it’s simplistic to reduce it to a yes or no question, if that’s what they did. Human emotion isn’t binary, and how a person feels about a decision isn’t necessarily connected to whether or not s/he thinks the decision was the right one at the time. Chances are, however, the headline is somewhat misleading. I’ll have to look at the study itself.

    Several of the comments here, however, are risible. I see a lot of reductionism and misogyny wrapped in self-righteousness, casting women who choose an abortion as sociopaths, immoral, in denial, criminals, upwardly mobile sluts, equivalent to rapists/murderers/thieves, potential child abusers, and in any case scarred for life. I suppose it’s easy to dehumanize women who decide on abortion because, according to the religious right, women are ordained by a god as baby-making factories and should toe the line accordingly.

  • Larry

    The alleged trauma is being used as a pretense to create economic stumbling blocks for poor women seeking abortions. Forcing them to waste further time and effort at an unnecessary counseling session before undergoing the procedure.

    What makes it especially damaging for poor women is in states which call for such measures (which are recognized by medical professionals as completely unwarranted) is the lack of available facilities over long distances. Its hard enough for women without means to get to these places and have the time to see the doctors.

  • Laurie

    I think it is an evolution. It used to effect women emotionally, but with desensitization over time and a lot of brainwashing about reproductive health, the conscience dies and there is no remorse. This is a perilous state of soul.

  • TB

    Totally flawed study…most people did not even complete it. So much wrong with it cannot even list it here

    This is another attempt to make women who have regrets feel like there is something wrong with them. It is ridiculous!
    They can keep trying to convince women they are fine, but the truth is countless numbers of women seek help after abortion. Perhaps they should speak to us!

    Here are a couple of opinions:
    http://reclaimingourchildren.typepad.com/lumina_a_ray_of_light_aft/2015/07/coleman-reply-to-flawed-study.html

    http://reclaimingourchildren.typepad.com/lumina_a_ray_of_light_aft/2015/07/coleman-reply-to-flawed-study.html

  • Wes

    Paula, sure, the clergy have led or caused a lot of fights, and have stood on both sides. Religion, sadly, can be used to “justify” any position. Heavy quotes there, that is.

  • Bernardo

    And mostly because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I wonder what the aborted children would answer on a poll that asked them if they regret having been killed
    Abortion, however, is old news. The same liberal social activists who have made a woman’s womb the most dangerous place in America for a child are now working mightily to make grannies and depressed people the next groups to be killed off.
    But isn’t this like 1930’s Germany when Death was in the bullpen sharpening up its knives and mixing its new gas cocktails.

  • Alan

    Bad marriages cause emotional damage not only to the partners but also to any children of the marriages. Divorce can be the cessation of harm.

  • Michael

    Put it in perspective. 100 per cent of people who have had an appendectomy don’t regret it either.

  • Alan

    Birth is an eventual death sentence for everyone. You make many assumptions including that even torturous and unloved life and the resulting death is better than the alternative of not being born.

  • Alan

    Guilt is a tool of abusive religion.

  • Chris L.

    This is further evidence that abortion is a tragic consequence of a “me-me-me” generation that doesn’t even prick the consciences of millions of misguided souls, who are themselves victims whether they know it or not. Abortion stops a beating heart. Read that again. There is no greater gift than the ability to create another human being.

  • Chris L.

    No, guilt is a tool of the conscience.

  • Anita

    This is a lie perpetrated by the abortion industry, anyone who believes it is “buying” the lie.

  • Saralyn

    Nothing. Because there aren’t any. It’s medically impossible to abort children.

  • Saralyn

    Making abortions illegal doesn’t decrease the number of abortions performed – it only makes them less safe. More women die when abortions are made illegal, but the fetus death count remains the same.

    Republicans make the problem resoundingly worse by fighting the methods that have been shown to be effective at fighting this problem: complete sex education and contraceptives. THESE cut the number of abortions by 70%.

    Nothing else comes close. Not religion. Not legality. Not ultrasounds.

  • GregoryUSA

    “The argument that abortion causes women emotional harm is used to regulate the procedure in the United States, the study said, but added research on the issue has been inconclusive….the article states.
    No, NOT “inconclusive”. Many women suffer tragic regret and psychological problems, even many years after having an abortion. They know in their mind and heart that they helped to kill and innocent baby.
    The liberal left will say anything to promote their money grubbing evil practices!
    The TRUTH will eventually come out.
    The sick Obama White House issued a statement that said selling baby body parts was “ETHICAL”!! They have a perverted version of that word!

  • Larry

    First the anti abortion crowd does not consider women to be capable of making decisions concerning what goes on in their bodies. Now they claim women are incapable of expressing their feelings over such matters.

    The common thread here being the anti abortion crowd does not like to acknowledge women as human beings capable of conducting their lives.

  • TheCountess

    LIES……………. lest we forget just how inaccurate stats can be…
    There isn’t one single female loosing Life that does not deal with that loss. NONE. And it is always traumatic. What are we, robots? Or is this yet another ploy to convince us we are?
    Any female going through pregnancy, which is why an abortion takes place is already involved with the formation of Life. To go ahead and end that Life is traumatic and don’t let some university stats make you think otherwise.
    They never publish the suicides, mental anguish or self hate women go through. Never.
    This is nothing more than a government facility furthering their lust for gold (fetal parts) in securing in the minds of people their filthy agenda. Women don’t regret. YES THEY DO.

  • Alan

    No, guilt is part of conscience. Religion manipulates people with guilt so it is a tool of religion.

  • Alan

    “Creating human life” should be an individual choice under conditions that are ideal for the best possible results, not forced or manipulated in any way.

  • Barb
  • Jack

    Anyone who believes the figure is 95% doesn’t understand the statistical impossibility of that being the case. There is no statistically meaningful difference between 95% and 100% and to stand by a 100% figure is to assert the impossible — a perfect uniformity of emotional reaction across the board to what both sides admit is an intense decision involving a plethora of thoughts and emotions.

    The study is worthless and, even given the seriousness of the topic, frankly laughable.

  • Jack

    Why is anybody taking this study seriously? It’s asserting a statistical impossibility.

  • Jack

    Countess, the study isn’t even worth taking seriously. Given the emotions involved in an abortion decision, and the wide range of personalities and emotional makeup of a population as diverse and as large as women having abortions, it is literally impossible for the reaction to an abortion to be virtually 100% uniform.

    I’m not sure how the researchers can look at themselves in the mirror……either they are incompetent or mendacious.

  • Jack

    It is nearly impossible to have virtually 100% uniformity in anything, let alone reaction to a decision to get an abortion. It’s frankly amazing that the researchers can present their finding with a straight face.

  • Jack

    Be Brave, don’t be so gullible. The study is asserting unanimity, which is virtually impossible no matter the topic. All the more so when the topic involves an emotional decision like this one.

  • Jack

    Bernardo, you’re dreaming. Polls show the American people are all over the map on abortion, with neither strictly pro-life nor strictly pro-choice positions constituting the majority. And polls also show no statistically significant difference between men and women in their opinions.

  • Jack

    Good point, but it still doesn’t explain such an embarrassingly unanimous figure. The study is obviously flawed in a deeper way.

  • Jack

    Rather than reacting with misogynistic comments, posters should have the brains and the common sense to question a result that is about as likely as my Labrador opening its mouth and reciting the Gettysburg Address.

  • Bernardo

    Might want to read the topic commentary once again i.e. 94% of those having abortions were happy with their decision. This is a voting bloc of 30-43 million women in 2016 and they definitely will be voting for the pro-choice/abortion candidate. And do doubt, their male counterpart in the pregnancy agree with their decision making the voting bloc 60-86 million voters in 2016. And the number of registered Republicans in the USA?
    55 million. Democrats? 72 million. Independent? 44 million.

  • Jack

    Bernardo, look at the polls through the decades on abortion…..they haven’t changed at all….men and women are equally torn on the issue and there is no clear pro-life or pro-choice winner.

    As for this particular poll on post-abortion feelings or attitudes, I’ve given my opinion on its accuracy on this board. It’s rather obvious what’s wrong with it.

  • Jack

    Garson, you’re too intelligent not to see what’s wrong with a poll that claims virtual unanimity on anything, let alone as volatile a subject as this one. While certainly pro-lifers aren’t immune from exaggerating the numbers of women emotionally harmed by abortion, this polls lurches to the opposite extreme.

  • Jack

    Note how both pro-lifers and pro-choicers on this board uncritically accept any finding that’s thrust into their noses.

    We really need to be better critical thinkers and not be so gullible.

  • Jack

    Sorry, “under their noses.”

  • Bernardo

    And the vote are in:

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for “pro-life” JM.

    2012 Presidential popular vote results:

    65,899,660 for pro-abortion/choice BO 60,929,152 for pro-life MR

  • Jack

    You’re assuming that most voters are prioritizing abortion over other issues. Not so. Exit polling has always shown that voters rank other issues far higher, going back at least a generation.

    In 1996, for example, a plurality of pro-choice men voted for Republican pro-life candidate Bob Dole over both pro-choice President Clinton and pro-choice third-party candidate Ross Perot, while 57% of pro-life women voted for Clinton over the other two.

  • Jack

    No, it is the dearth of feelings of guilt that is pathological. It’s called psychopathy or sociopathy….and jails are filled with such people.

    Freud said that a certain amount of guilt-driven neurosis is the price we pay to have a thing called civilization. It is far easier to treat a person who suffers from too much guilt than one who has virtually none of it.

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  • John Hutchinson

    Why is a subjective response the measure of all things? Those who feel little about their abortions are also bound to be callous and egoistical about their dealings with all humans. These will likely have greater incidents of divorce because they place their myopic self-interests above ethics and the greater good of the marriage and the family. These will likely be worst employees and citizens in terms of concern, dedication and sacrifice for the common welfare.

    Fashion questionnaires that attempt to obtain honest responses about such scenarios. Better yet, one would have investigate these people’s lives thoroughly to see how they respond to hard situations which pit their own myopia interests against ethics and the ideal solution for all.

    I would unapologetically not knowingly hire one who has such callousness or self-serving egoism as indicative by aborting their children. This is not judgment so much protecting and seeking the welfare of all employees.

  • Bernardo

    In 1996, the number of women voters who had abortions were less than there will be in 2016. And could you cite references supporting your exit poll numbers?

  • Thinker on things

    Yes, correct! Thank you!

    I’ve gotten very tired of people using inaccurate and inappropriate terminology to try to simplify a very complex question.

    No, folks, “children” are NOT aborted. Fetuses are.

  • Thinker on things

    “Many women suffer tragic regret and psychological problems, even many years after having an abortion.”

    Well, *some* surely do, Gregory; but, as this article points out, *actual research* has demonstrated that “[m]ore than 95 percent of women surveyed in a new U.S. study said they DIDN’T regret having an abortion and felt that the procedure was the right decision for them.”

    Forgive my intruding facts into an emotional discussion. I notice that many people on *both* sides of this complex topic have their minds made up and do not wish to be confused by “data” and “logic.”

  • alison

    Soulless.

  • Jack

    In the real world, there is no 96% figure on anything, unless the books are cooked or we’re talking about a vote for a leader of a totalitarian dictatorship.

  • Alan

    So a priest who abuses a child is pathological because he has no conscience and doesn’t suffer guilt. But that in no way changes the fact that religion uses guilt to also to abuse people.

  • Jack

    Alan, that’s a great argument for contraception, but a lousy argument for abortion. And I think you’re adult enough to figure out the difference.

  • Garson Abuita

    Thanks Jack- I suppose I am as skeptical of it as anything else. This is my opinion at first glance. I still don’t get why it matters, though. For the most part, to my understanding, Christian abortion opponents believe it to be murder. Why would it matter whether the women feel ok about it afterward? If you’re seeking to discourage women from getting abortions, I suppose you could point to evidence that it’s emotionally damaging.

  • Alan

    History has proved that abortions occur whether it is legal and safe, or illegal and unsafe. Desperate women make desperate choices. Far better to have safe legal abortions done by professionals under safe conditions.

  • Kelly

    “The best available data indicates that on average there is a five to ten year period of denial during which a woman who was traumatized by her abortion will repress her feelings.23,24” See: http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/studentsforlife/cost.html

    If this study polled post-abortive women 5 to 10 years later, would they report much higher rates of regret?

  • Mr. Wonder

    You may be missing a big part of the general debate about abortion here. Are all fetuses considered not to be a human in an earlier stage? If not, what’s the cut-off for when we stop using the term “fetus”?

    4 weeks?

    8 months?

    Premature babies born months before the nine month mark for instance are still able to live healthy and happy lives, so I don’t think using “No, folks, “children” are NOT aborted. Fetuses are.” works in that circumstance.