Less Than One Percent of Women Regret Their Decision to Have an Abortion

And the experience becomes less emotionally charged over time.
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Women hold signs protesting North Carolina's  abortion Bill #465, which increases restrictions for women seeking  abortions, in Asheville on May 4, 2015. (Photo: J. Bicking/Shutterstock)

Women hold signs protesting North Carolina's abortion Bill #465, which increases restrictions for women seeking abortions, in Asheville on May 4, 2015. (Photo: J. Bicking/Shutterstock)

A new article in PLoS One reports the findings from a longitudinal study that followed 667 women who had early- and later-term abortions for three years after their procedure. Dr. Corinne Rocca and her colleagues asked women if they felt that the abortion was the “right decision” at one week and approximately every six months thereafter.

This is your image of the week:

Percent of women reporting that abortion was the right decision over three years:

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Over 99 percent of the women said that the abortion was the right decision at every time point. The line that looks like the upper barrier of the graph? That’s the data.

Overall, measures of negative emotions were relatively low—an average score of under four on a 16-point scale at one week and declining to about two at three years—and were higher for women who had a more difficult time deciding whether to get an abortion or who subsequently had planned pregnancies. Whether the abortion occurred in the first trimester or near the legal limit did not correlate with emotional response.

In contrast, women reported twice as many positive emotions at one week. Over time, positive feelings about the abortion declined along with negative ones, suggesting that the experience became less emotionally charged overall with distance from the procedure.

This post originally appeared on Sociological Images, a Pacific Standard partner site, as “Less Than 1% of Women Regret Their Decision to Have an Abortion."

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