Deciding whether or not to abort is always a difficult decision for a woman . If you decide to do it, the consequences of abortion will soon arrive; but in any case, not doing so would also have its own consequences.
Bearing in mind that each country has legislation in this regard, in this article we are going to explain the short and long-term consequences of abortion for women. There is no correct decision , since this depends on the circumstances of each one, the society in which she lives and her belief system.

  • You may be interested: All the countries where abortion is legal (and illegal).

Consequences of abortion depending on the types
First of all we must comment, to clarify some fundamental points, what are the types of abortion, since these will cause the consequences to be one or the other.

1. Consequences depending on the legality
In the first place, it must be borne in mind that the consequences of abortion will depend, in part at least, on the procedure followed to carry it out.

1.1. Legal abortion
As a general rule, it tends to have less psychological impact on women . This is because, in addition to all the problems and pressures that she feels, there is also the fact that she is doing something illegal, turning her back on the law.
The mother has freedom and feels greater acceptance (at least by the bureaucratic and legal systems) to abort, thus reducing its consequences and consequences. On the other hand, legal abortion is usually linked to medical interventions with greater preparation and means. So it also reduces the negative physical consequences for the mother.

1.2. Illegal abortion
Contrary to the previous point, as might be expected, illegal abortion usually entails a greater psychological burden for the woman and medical difficulties.
The first is due to the lack of legal recognition, which acts as another element that makes it difficult for the mother to feel understood and supported in the process. The second, as we said, usually leads to consequences of medical abortion. If a doctor who acts illegally is not found, it is possible that he will do it in a “home” way, and these methods are usually very invasive for women .

2. Consequences depending on the pregnancy
Undoubtedly, in order to predict (as far as possible) the consequences of abortion, understanding what type of pregnancy it is will be essential.

2.1. wanted pregnancy
If the option of aborting with a wanted pregnancy is considered, it means that there is a dramatic situation. The most frequent cause of abortion in wanted pregnancies is usually a problem with the fetus or baby that implies serious risks for the mother.
In these cases, the psychological pain is usually insured since the mother (and the father, in case there is one) usually go through a difficult mourning having to give up (or hopefully, postpone) the idea of ​​incorporating a new and beloved member to the family.

2.2. Unwanted pregnancy
Although almost every time there is an unwanted pregnancy the possibility of having an abortion comes to mind (albeit briefly), not everyone ends up carrying it out for fear of the consequences of abortion (justified, of course).
When there is an unwanted pregnancy, whatever decision is made , there will be negative and positive consequences for the mother and the rest of the people close to the mother.

3. Consequences depending on the type of abortion
Finally, in this list of nuances and types of abortions (list necessary to contextualize the general consequences of abortion), we add one more variable to the consequences of abortion.
In both cases, it can have serious consequences for women, both physically and organically, if it is not practiced (or supervised) properly.

3.1. Spontaneous/natural abortion
Leaving aside the questionable proposal to call a type of abortion as “natural”, we have the most frequent type of abortion in the world. This happens when, suddenly, the pregnancy is interrupted, without this being the intention of the pregnant woman.
It usually happens in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and almost always before 26 weeks. The most frequent causes are chromosomal alterations or the anatomical qualities of the fetus .

3.2. Induced abortion
When it is practiced legally, like spontaneous abortion, it is usually practiced before the 12th week of gestation. In most countries of the world (if not all), it is practiced, either legally or illegally.
It can also be practiced in some countries whenever the mother does not want to have the baby. In others, the reasons must be argued and demonstrated (for example, economic incapacity of the parents).
In many other countries, induced abortion is only allowed in very specific cases that, if not carried out, would have serious consequences for the mother .

  • You may be interested: Sudden death syndrome in babies and adults: what it is, causes and prevention.

Consequences of abortion for women
Now yes, we list the main consequences of abortion that a woman can suffer.
As we have said, it will depend on the factors that we have just seen in the previous section and on many other variables such as the country where it is practiced, the support network that the woman has, her age, her purchasing power, her beliefs, her traits. physiological, the culture of the place where you are, the health services available, etc.

Important note: We talk about consequences that can occur in the woman who decides to abort. They do not necessarily have to occur, it will depend on many variables and above all, we are not saying that they are worse consequences than deciding not to abort, far from it. Each one must choose what to do, adapting the choice to their circumstances and the social/legal environment in which they find themselves.

1. Guilt (remorse)
Without a doubt, the number one consequence of abortion is guilt. Many women, despite having made the decision safely, live with a feeling of guilt that will accompany them for more or less time .
She tends to feed strongly on ideas and imaginations about what would have happened if she had had the baby.
Nobody likes to think that they have decided to take the life (or not give it) to another human being. This feeling can appear even when the abortion has been spontaneous or decided by doctors.

2. Social punishment
The geographical factor and culture will be two of the great variables that will determine the consequences of abortion for a woman.
Whether we like it or not, we are the product of education and the context in which we have grown up . This context continues to pressure us to make a series of decisions even when we are against certain ideas.
If the decision to have an abortion is made in a place where it is not socially accepted (even if it is legally), the “punishment” by people who know what happened will not take long to appear. This will be more painful for the woman and will have more serious consequences the closer the people are to the woman who has aborted .

3. Regret
This is probably one of the worst consequences of abortion that can be felt. Often linked to social punishment, which can enhance it, repentance goes beyond guilt.
While in the feeling of guilt (or rather, in remorse) the person feels bad and responsible for what they have done, in repentance the (fantasy) desire to change the choice is added.
Many times, it occurs when the woman has decided to abort because she is not prepared (personally or economically) and some time later she already is. At that time, you may ask yourself questions such as why not now and why not in the past
? Am I a selfish

? endanger the life of the mother.
These potential problems vary mostly depending on the technique used for the abortion. The main ones are: suction, dilation, saline injection, chemical and partial birth .
In addition to the risks of the intervention, women who have had an abortion (or more) have increased risks of breast, cervical, ovarian and liver cancer.

5. Psychological problems
The psychological consequences, although we have already discussed two important ones closely related to the act of abortion (especially if it is induced for personal reasons), are the most important consequences of abortion .

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • self-destructive behavior
  • anger/irritability
  • Retreat
  • Insomnia and/or nightmares
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Tiredness
  • suicidal ideation

6. Post-abortion syndrome

It is an unofficial clinical picture (it does not appear in the DSM-V). It includes a diverse number of psychological problems such as those already described. The difference of this consequence of abortion is that it brings together a high number of these symptoms.

7. Breakup of the couple
According to several investigations, it has been seen that after an abortion, more than half of the couples end up separating or divorcing (exactly around 60 or 70%).
The strong impact that each one lives together with the possibility that it was a decision not completely consensual, can make managing the relationship unsustainable after this event.

  • You may be interested: Experts ask that children be vaccinated against the papillomavirus urgently.

Barklay, A. (2014). Consequences of abortion. June 29, 2016, from Red Madre Foundation: You will never be alone.
Grimes, D. (2010). Physical sequelae of abortion. June 29, 2016, in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Gurpeguia, M. & Jurado, D. (2009). Psychiatric complications of abortion. June 24, 2016, from the Spanish Association of Bioethics and Medical Ethics.
Haywood, P. (2016). General consequences of abortion for women. June 29, 2016, from DeSide: Information Help.