When You Feel Guilty for Having an Abortion

Many women feel guilty and ashamed after having an abortion. These tips may help you cope with feelings of pain or shame, and help you move forward after the abortion.

Here’s what one reader says:

“I’m 21; me and my husband have trying to get pregnant but no luck,” says M. Why Can’t You Get Pregnant? Reasons for Not Conceiving a Baby. “I have been pregnant before with my ex, but had an abortion. Now I am scared, what if I was cursed for having the abortion? I know it’s crazy but I feel so bad and stressed about it.”

It’s not crazy to wonder if you’re being punished, or if you’re cursed because you had an abortion. Those feelings may be a sign that you haven’t grieved the abortion – because it is a loss, even if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that having a baby wasn’t right for you.

If you still feel guilty, ashamed, or angry about the abortion, read Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion. Mourn your loss, heal, and forgive yourself.

If you’re trying to conceive a baby but can’t, and you think it may have something to do with the abortion (even though you know that’s not a rational thought!), read on…

When You Feel Guilty for Having an Abortion

“Guilt is the most common negative emotional response to abortion. Guilt is the deep-in-your-gut feeling of having done something wrong. It is an emotion, a feeling in your body. You are especially likely to feel guilty when you have done something that harms someone else. This harm might be physical, emotional, or spiritual.” ~ From Peace After Abortion.

Even though abortion is, in some circumstances, the best choice a woman can make, she still may feel guilty. And with guilt – the feeling of “done something wrong” – comes punishment.

If you’re pregnant and trying to decide about having an abortion, read Unplanned Pregnancy Help – Options for Women.

Remember that you made the best decision you could

To cope with guilty feelings about your abortion, remember that you made the best decision you could at that time of your life. You had reasons to terminate the pregnancy, and if you were that woman again, under those same circumstances, you would make the same decision again.

The abortion was the decision you had to make.

Grieve your loss

Different women grieve abortion in different ways. What remains constant for most women is the fact that grieving needs to happen! That’s why books like The Healing Choice: Your Guide to Emotional Recovery After an Abortion are so important. You need to put the past aside, and start looking towards the future.

Trying to get pregnant – and even raising children – after an abortion can raise very strong emotions.

You Can’t Conceive – Is It Because You Had an Abortion?

Here’s the rest of my reader’s comment:

“This month, my period was three days late and I really thought I was pregnant,” says M. “But I had my period yesterday, and it just made me sad. I have been taking vitamins and having regular sex especially during my ovulation, but no luck. Is there any advice on how to conceive?”

The first step is to keep reminding yourself that you are not cursed for having an abortion, and the fact that you haven’t conceived quickly is not a punishment for terminating the pregnancy. (Although, if the abortion wasn’t performed well by the doctor, it could cause complications with future pregnancies. The only way to determine this is to get examined by a gynecologist).

Getting pregnant doesn’t usually happen on the first try

It takes most couples a year on average to get pregnant! Granted, there are always those women who get pregnant after having sex once, or having sex the only time they didn’t use a condom. But it’s normal for most couples not to get pregnant until they’ve tried for a few months.

Learn about conceiving a baby – it’s not karma, it’s biology!

Read articles about conception, and you’ll see that it’s about sperm and egg – not about having a past abortion.  Conceiving a baby is about timing intercourse so the sperm meets the egg. It’s about age, sperm health, and “female issues” such as endometriosis and fibroids.

Not conceiving a baby is not about being cursed or punished for a past abortion.

Articles about getting pregnant:

If you have any thoughts or questions on abortion, guilty feelings, and conceiving a baby, please comment below…

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2 thoughts on “When You Feel Guilty for Having an Abortion”

  1. Dear Alecia,

    I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Feelings of guilt and shame are common for many, many women who have abortions.

    The best way to go back to feeling normal and happy is to talk through your feelings with a professional. I once interviewed a counselor at an abortion clinic, and she said that most women need to talk through their decision to have an abortion. Some even need a follow-up visit or two, to cope with the resulting feelings.

    I encourage you to call a distress line, and talk about how you feel. You can be anonymous, and just share your feelings of shame and guilt. Trust me, once you start talking about the abortion with someone who will listen without judging, you will feel a whole lot better.

    It may also help if you can connect with other women who have had abortions. You need to surround yourself with women who understand and care, and who know how you feel.

    Please let me know how you’re doing. I’m all ears, if you want to write out how you feel about the abortion.


  2. I’m constantly having infections and irregular periods my sex life with my partner has suffered enormasly because of this…..I feel as though I’m being punished for having an abortion, I often have nightmares of the abortion but feel to ashamed to talk to any one……I just wish everything would go back to normal.