Imagine this scenario: A young woman finds herself facing an unplanned pregnancy. She panics: She’s not ready to have a baby and she anguishes over what to do. Finally, she makes a choice. Over the years, she wonders whether she did the right thing, and at times, she regrets the decision she made.
Based on this information, do you think she terminated the pregnancy or gave birth to the baby?
You see, it all depends on a woman’s individual situation. The right decision for you is based on the stage of your life, your goals and dreams, the plans you’ve made for yourself and whether you are in a position to bring a child in to the world. A woman may regret her decision to have an abortion – she may struggle with feelings of sadness or loss. But she may experience these same feelings if she has to raise a child when she’s not ready to. She may feel sadness and loss at having missed out on opportunities, or the chance to further her life before taking on the responsibility of being a parent.
The truth about abortions and trauma
There’s an assumption that every woman who has an abortion struggles to reach that decision. This isn’t always the case. It’s true that some women have a tough time making the decision to terminate, and they need to carefully consider their options and circumstances, be they social and/or economical, and/or health-related, before deciding to have an abortion.
But some women just know they are not ready or in a position to bring a child into the world. For them, the choice isn’t a difficult or traumatic one, particularly when they understand how safe abortions work and why it’s a sensible decision for them.
What are some of the reasons for choosing to have an abortion?
A woman may choose to have an abortion because:
- Having a child would interfere with her work, school or other responsibilities
- She can’t afford to have a child
- Her relationships are not conducive to bringing a child into the world
- She or the baby may face health risks
- She’s socially not ready to have a baby (young; not wanting her family or community to know she’s sexually active; afraid to tell her family she’s pregnant).
Abortions and trauma: what the studies say
According to studies, 95% of women do not regret their decision to have an abortion.
Many short-term studies have focused on women’s feelings after having an abortion. In most cases, they have found that the women feel mixed emotions soon after the procedure, but the predominant feeling is one of relief.
Moreover, according to the data, it’s simply not true that large percentages of women come to regret their termination over time. It’s also inaccurate to say that they suffer from psychological harm. You can see the data here.
How Marie Stopes helps
Any woman who visits a Marie Stopes centre for a safe abortion is given pre-procedure advice. First, we confirm the pregnancy, and then we help her understand all the options available to her (parenting, adoption or abortion). If she still decides to terminate, our nurses are trained to provide counselling to ensure she’s 100% sure of her choice so she won’t regret her decision.
If you’re struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, or have made the decision to terminate, let our caring and supportive staff help you. Remember, all our services are completely confidential and judgement-free, so you can feel safe and comfortable at any Marie Stopes centre.
Find your closest branch now or make an appointment to pop in and see us. We can assist you with a safe abortion, and with effective short and long term contraception to keep you protected well into the future.
Latest posts by Marie Stopes South Africa (see all)
- HIV, AIDS and STIs…explained - March 26, 2019
- Celebrating Human Rights Day – Challenging the status-quo - March 21, 2019
- Dangers of drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant - March 12, 2019