women do regret abortion sign

Study finds 95 percent of women who had an abortion say it was the right decision

The myth that abortion causes mental health problems should have been long since put to rest at this point. But in case you needed yet more evidence that those anti-choice signs insisting that “women DO regret abortion” are full of it, here’s some

According to a new study that tracked hundreds of women who had abortions, more than 95 percent of participants reported that ending a pregnancy was the right decision for them. Feelings of relief outweighed any negative emotions, even three years after the procedure.

Researchers examined both women who had first-trimester abortions and women who had procedures after that point (which are often characterized as “late-term abortions”). When it came to women’s emotions following the abortion, or their opinions about whether or not it was the right choice, they didn’t find any meaningful difference between the two groups.

The study, which is the latest out of the ongoing Turnaway Study, did find some factors that led to more negative feelings. As you might expect, those who ended a pregnancy that was more planned or who’d been more conflicted about the decision at the time reported more negative emotions and less confidence that it was the right choice. In addition, those who struggled more tended to have less social support and feel more abortion stigma from their communities.

In other words, the overwhelming majority of people don’t regret their abortions, and for the minority who feel bad about their choice, it’s at least in part thanks the anti-choice movement’s committed efforts to make them feel bad. And even then, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job at it.

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St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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