Most women don’t regret after having abortion – Study

Doctor used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash]
Doctor used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: unsplash.com]

A new research has found that most women feel ‘relieved’ and don’t ‘regret’ their decision after having an abortion.

The study, which was described by a CNN report as one of the largest to date on the topic, was published Sunday in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Also, about 25 per cent of all pregnancies ended in an induced abortion, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Researchers say there has been an assumption that women will regret having an abortion.

But they said the groups of women surveyed described as relieved how they felt each time they were asked about it.

According to the study, researchers came to this conclusion after surveying nearly 1,000 women, and following up with them 11 times over a period of five years.

Five years after having an abortion, a majority of women surveyed – 84 per cent – had positive emotions or no emotions whatsoever about their abortion decision.

At first, over half the women in this survey said the decision to terminate the pregnancy was very difficult with nearly 70 per cent saying they felt they would be stigmatised if people knew they had an abortion.

But these feelings declined down the line, sometimes even one year after the abortion, the study revealed.

The survey, which was conducted in the U.S., builds on previous researches that rebuff studies linking mental illness to abortion – a common argument used to justify policies that restrict access to abortion in many countries. This study finds such policies and arguments as misguided.

Unsafe abortion

Globally, about 22,800 women die each year from complications of unsafe abortion, the Guttmacher Institute reports.

Around 25 million unsafe abortions were estimated by WHO to have taken place worldwide each year, almost all in developing countries.

As a result, many countries are putting an outright ban on abortions with others imbedding stringent routines in their abortion policies.

However, experts believe bans and restrictions will only escalate the rate of unsafe abortions, especially in developing countries.

Abortion in Nigeria

Nigeria is among countries where abortion is most common despite being banned.

While abortion laws in the West African nation are some of the most restrictive in the world, the country ranks top among countries whose citizens are in search of abortion pills, according to a 2018 BBC report.

A research conducted by the United States-based Guttmacher Institute, in collaboration with the University of Ibadan (UI) found that over 1.25 million abortions are carried out in Nigeria every year.

The majority of such procedures are done in secret and mostly by unprofessional hands – traditional attendants and herbalists.

The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) puts the number of deaths from unsafe abortions in the country at 34,000, adding that this has contributed between 13 per cent and 50 per cent of maternal and child mortality in the country.


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