Understanding Abortion Grief and the Recovery Process

Abortion has always been a controversial issue. While some people believe that it is a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, others feel that it is a violation of the unborn child’s right to life. Whatever your belief may be, one thing is certain – the decision to have an abortion is never easy, and it can have far-reaching emotional consequences for women.

What is Abortion Grief?

Abortion grief is the emotional and psychological pain that women experience after having an abortion. It can take many forms, including feelings of guilt, regret, shame, anger, and sadness. Some women may also experience physical symptoms such as insomnia, weight loss or gain, and changes in appetite.

While not everyone who has an abortion will experience grief, it is common for women to struggle with their decision for a long time afterward. Many women experience what is known as “anniversary grief,” a time when they feel sad or depressed around the anniversary of the abortion.

The Recovery Process

If you are struggling with abortion grief, it is important to seek help. Here are some steps you can take to begin the recovery process:

1. Talk to Someone

Find someone you trust to talk to about your experience. This could be a friend or family member, a therapist, or a support group for women who have had abortions. Talking about your feelings can help you process your emotions and begin to heal.

2. Practice Self-Care

Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Practice self-compassion and don’t be too hard on yourself for your decision. Make time for activities that you enjoy and that bring you joy.

3. Consider Therapy

Therapy can be a valuable tool in the recovery process. A therapist can help you explore your feelings, gain perspective, and develop coping strategies to manage your emotions. Consider finding a therapist who specializes in post-abortion grief.

4. Connect with Others

Joining a support group or connecting with others who have had a similar experience can be helpful. Knowing that you are not alone can bring comfort and understanding, and sharing your story with others can be therapeutic.

5. Find Meaning

Many women find meaning in their experience by volunteering, advocating for reproductive rights, or becoming involved in organizations that support women’s health. Finding a purpose can help you move forward and turn your experience into something positive.


Abortion grief is a complex and difficult experience, but recovery is possible. No matter how long ago your abortion was, it is never too late to seek help and begin the healing process. Remember to be kind to yourself, and to seek out support from those around you. With time and compassion, you can learn to heal and move forward from your experience.


FAQs for Understanding Abortion Grief And The Recovery Process

1. Is it common to experience grief after an abortion?

Yes, it is common to experience grief after an abortion. Grief can manifest in various ways, including sadness, regret, guilt, anger, and shame. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and seek support from loved ones, counselors, or support groups to aid in the recovery process.

2. How long does the recovery process take?

The recovery process varies for each individual and can take time. It is essential to nurture self-care, seek professional counseling if needed, and join support groups to cope with grief and emotions following an abortion. With time, emotional healing and acceptance can be achieved.

3. Is it necessary to talk about an abortion with others?

Sharing your experience with others can be a beneficial way to process and work through difficult emotions related to an abortion. However, talking about your experience is not necessary, and it is important to respect your boundaries and decide what is appropriate for you. It is essential to seek support from understanding and nonjudgmental individuals in a safe and confidential environment.


1. Akerma, K. (2018). Understanding the psychological impact of abortion: A comprehensive approach. Journal of Psychiatric Research and Mental Health, 1(1), 1-5.

2. Rubin, R. K., & Zanardo, V. P. (2014). Abortion grief: A review of the literature. Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 345(3), 173-184.

3. Doss, E. J., & Janke, J. (2019). Post-abortion counseling: A focus on the grief process. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 66(3), 309-316.