January 13, 2020
The overwhelming majority of Women who have an abortion do not regret their decision, new research has found – counteracting the rhetoric of regret often pushed by anti-abortion campaigners. 
Majority Of Women Who Have An Abortion Do Not Regret It
Five years after having an abortion, more than 95% of women in a landmark study by University of California San Francisco said it was the right decision for them. 
The researchers spoke to 667 women who had abortions at the start of the study. They were then spoken to every six months over the next five years.  
Over time, the participants reported that both their positive and negative feelings about the abortion diminished. And at five years, the overwhelming majority (84%) had either positive feelings, or none at all. READ MORE: What Actually Happens When You Have An Abortion? While women did not report regretting their decision, many struggled initially to make it. Almost a third said the decision to terminate their pregnancy was very difficult (27%) or somewhat difficult (27%), while the rest (46%) said it was not difficult.
About 70% said they felt they’d be stigmatised by their communities if people knew they had sought an abortion, with 29% reporting low levels and 31% reporting high levels of community stigma.
These findings echo a 2019 study by Marie Stopes International, which found women in the UK feel unable to tell their Friends and families if they’re considering an abortion, due to fears of stigma and repercussions. 
In the UK, more than half (56%) of those who have abortions already have children. Last year, HuffPost UK spoke to four women in this position about why the decision was right for them.
Sally had her first abortion at 40 when her son was 10, and a second abortion six years later. She said she wasn’t in a financial position to have another child at the time of her first abortion. For her second abortion, she was “in the best position [she’d] ever been in to have a baby”, but decided it wasn’t what she wanted. 
“My son was 16 and it felt like the timing was completely out,” she said. “I felt like I was just getting my life back. We’re really happy, we have lots of freedom. It was the right decision.”
Jennifer, 35, had an abortion in 2015 after experiencing postnatal depression with her first child. “I didn’t believe my marriage, nor I, would survive if I had to relive that experience again,” she said. 
“There are so many misconceptions. I wanted more children, I really did, but I chose not to because of my mental health. That’s still one of my most unselfish decisions I’ve made to date, in my mind.”For support and information about abortion, visit The British Pregnancy Advisory Service website, or call its advice line on 0345 730 4030. Alternatively visit the Marie Stopes website, or call their advice line on 0345 300 8090. READ MORE: 'I Didn't Want To Start Over': Mothers Who Had Abortions Share Their Stories 'Dirty Little Secret': Women Feel Unable To Tell Friends And Family They're Considering An Abortion 'I Couldn't Imagine Carrying On My Pregnancy Knowing My Baby Was Going To Die'
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