What are the Consequences of Abortion?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
The physical and mental effects of an abortion can last for a long period of time.
The physical and mental effects of an abortion can last for a long period of time.

An abortion is a difficult process, both physically and emotionally, and the consequences of abortion can be far-reaching for the woman undergoing the procedure and others involved in the decision. The mother, and potentially the father, of the unborn fetus may experience mental anguish, and the mother may experience physical pain as a result of the abortion surgery. Consequences of abortion will vary on a case by case basis, as some people feel little or no consequences at all, but a woman taking part in an abortion surgery should expect both physical and mental trauma to be possible, as well as potential social stigmatization.

Some consequences of abortion can be positive.
Some consequences of abortion can be positive.

Trauma to the affected areas of the female body are perhaps the most obvious physical consequences of abortion. Depending on the method used for the abortion, a woman may need to work through a recovery period, in which she refrains from sexual activity and takes antibiotic medications to prevent infection. The recovery time will vary on a case by case basis, but all women who undergo an abortion should be careful to monitor the healing process and consult a doctor immediately if a problem arises.

Other consequences of abortion include any potential mental anguish and coping with the emotionally straining situation. Abortion is a highly divisive topic, and many people view it as murder; others view it as an acceptable practice and the right of the mother. The social implications of an abortion can weigh heavily on the woman considering the procedure, and if her abortion is known to others, she may face stigmatization from her peers, family members, or society at large.

Some women who go through the procedure find themselves in a period of mourning after the procedure has taken place. Grieving can be one of the consequences of abortion, and not just for the female. A man who would have been the father may also be affected, as can other members of the family. Women may have a tendency to feel an emotional connection to the unborn child or fetus, making the mental strain before, during, and after the procedure a traumatic affair.

Some consequences of abortion can be positive. Expectant mothers may choose to abort a fetus because of potential birth complications. If the mother is at risk of death if she gives birth, the mother may save her own life by getting an abortion. Evidence may be found that the child may not survive child birth either, in which case a mother may choose to get an abortion.

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Discussion Comments


The most immediate consequence of the abortion is that the child a woman was carrying in her womb is no longer alive. Here I think the child bears the most direct consequence of that decision, and other issues, like trauma for the woman, are merely peripheral in nature.

There's no doubt that the law says a woman has that right. In my opinion, the law does not impose any guilt that the woman feels afterwards - nor is that guilt imposed by those who oppose abortion.

Only the woman, who has been carrying that unborn child, knows how deeply that connection is felt, and how deeply it is felt when it is ended. To the extent there is any trauma, that is why, in my opinion.


I wonder what abortion statistics have to say about the number of women that have to get the procedure for medical reasons?

My cousin recently had an abortion because the child would have lived long if she had given birth. From what she told me it's heart wasn't developed enough and was deformed. She was really traumatized by the whole experience because she had wanted a baby for so long.

Now my cousin is going through the adoption process because she doesn't feel like she'll be able to have a healthy baby on her own. The whole thing is really tragic.


It really saddens me that abortion laws sometimes work at restricting a mother's right to choose, whether it be by enforcing really long cooling off periods or making it difficult to secure funding for the procedure. I am one of those people that believe we should help make sure abortion is accessible to anyone who needs it.

I don't think women are going to start having more abortions if it is safe and available because it is still a very emotionally difficult decision to make. It seems to me that when people protest abortion a lot of it is about preventing people from having access, as if that would stop someone who was really serious about it.


@Crispety - I just wanted to reassure you that public money never, ever, ever goes toward abortion costs. I am not sure if there are abortion providers that receive public money. If they do, that money goes toward health care and family planning services, *not* abortion.

And remember that family planning services are the #1 way to prevent abortions in the first place! Many low-income women visit low-cost health clinics that provide abortions in order to receive birth control and a physical exam that includes a pelvic exam, Pap test, and a general physical check-up like blood pressure screening. For the millions of women without insurance, these services are a lifesaver.

The problem with the cooling-off period is that it makes it more difficult to obtain a legal abortion, which is exactly what abortion opponents intend; since they can't make it illegal, they want to make it impossible. In many parts of the country, women must travel for several hours to reach a town with an abortion provider. Having a cooling-off period after she meets the doctor means extra time off work, having to stay in a hotel, more restaurant meals, etc. In short, it adds greatly to the cost and to the logistical challenges.


@SurfNTurf- I agree with what you are saying, but the problem is that some kids feel that they can’t go to their parents. Not everyone has a good relationship with their parents and the thought of pregnancy at such a young age must be frightening to a young kid.

Some kids really worry about getting thrown out of their house because of the pregnancy so the situation is not always so black and white. While I personally would never have an abortion, I can certainly understand why someone could choose one.

It would be great if all parents were supportive and the child felt safe talking to them, but unfortunately not all kids are that lucky.


@Latte31 - A cooling off period would help a women make the right decision, but my concern is the public funding that is offered to these abortion clinics in order to supplement the cost of the abortion.

I have no problems with a woman seeking an abortion if she chooses to, but the abortion should be paid entirely by her. The government should not offer subsidies to these clinics because I think that there are better ways for us to use our taxpayer dollars.

What really makes me upset is that the largest abortion provider that benefits from government funding also states on their website that minors under the age of 18 can go to a judge to get approval for an abortion without their parent's consent because they are underage.

This is taking the parents out of the loop which is dangerous and irresponsible. I think that the parents should be involved in every abortion decision when the child is a minor because if this abortion procedure is traumatic for a grown woman how do you expect a kid to deal with it?

I also think that the procedure might go against some religious beliefs that the family might hold and the abortion might also skirt some responsibility from the child. I think that the abortion discussion can teach a lot of lessons, but the parents must be involved if kids are going to learn from them.


I think that because the abortion procedure can be really traumatic for the women there should be some form of counseling before the procedure takes place to make sure that the women wants to go through with it. Having as much abortion information available as possible really shows the women what she might be in for and will help her make the best decision about her situation.

Some people might not agree with this type of counseling and say that it is interfering with a women’s right to have an abortion, but I don’t see it that way. Deciding to go to an abortion clinic in order to have an abortion is a big step and not all women are prepared for the procedure both emotionally and physically.

Once you have the abortion you can’t turn back the hands of time. Most major decisions in our life allow a period in which we can change our minds. For example, when you buy a house or a car you do have a few days to cancel the contract; the same should be true for a pending abortion. After all you are talking about a women’s life and the life of her unborn baby.

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    • The physical and mental effects of an abortion can last for a long period of time.
      The physical and mental effects of an abortion can last for a long period of time.
    • Some consequences of abortion can be positive.
      Some consequences of abortion can be positive.