British Survey Finds Overwhelming Majority of Women Regretted Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Survey Finds Overwhelming Majority of Women Regretted Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 12
, 2006

London, England ( — A British pro-life group placed advertisements in six women’s magazines there to gather the experiences of women who had abortions and find out their reaction to their decision years down the road. More than 82 percent of the women who responded indicated they deeply regretted their abortion decisions.

Some 248 women replied to the ads sponsored by the group LIFE between April and early July.

Just 26 said they had a few or no regrets about their abortions, including one 74 year-old woman who had three abortions in the 1960s and 70s and another who had aborted twins.

Of that small group of women, they indicated they had no other alternative than the abortion or said it was the "right thing" at that moment in their lives. Still, many said they would not want to do it again. Nine other women said they were undecided about their abortion experiences.

However, 204 of the 248 women said they deeply regretted their abortions.

LIFE asked 96 women in a follow-up survey whether they would have gone through with the abortion had they known the medical and emotional problems abortions can cause. Sixty-four of the women answered no and most very emphatically.

Virtually all of the women said that women considering abortions should be given more information on potential problems. Most said they were only told there would be an inordinate amount of bleeding but were given little or no counseling or information.

The survey found some of the women who had abortions had severe problems afterwards, including 14 who had seriously contemplated or attempted suicide, 15 who had developed alcohol addictions, and three who had severe eating disorders.

Five confessed to abusing drugs, several had emotional breakdowns and another four said they got pregnant again quickly to have "atonement" babies.

LIFE reported that most women reported the kind of post-abortion syndrome issues abortion advocates routinely deny, including anger, shame, guilt, self-hatred, loss of confidence, nightmares, flashbacks, and the pain of anniversaries.

Some of the comments from women who regretted their abortions included: "it completely ruined my life", "I felt crippled, crucified, stupid, insane," "I felt dirty and ashamed," "I’m totally grief-stricken, I want my baby and I feel like a monster," "it was the worst mistake of my life… I cry all the time," "every baby I see I yearn for the one I got rid of."

Most of the women surveyed said they were treated poorly by abortion facility staff.

They talked about being treated "like cattle," "conveyor-belted" and "pushed by bossy nurses."

"They described the bleak atmosphere of waiting rooms and abortion clinics, and how they were often crying when they came round from the anesthetic," LIFE reported.

One woman talked about having an abortion with the mifepristone abortion drug. She discussed how she gave birth to her dead baby at a gas station and flushed the baby’s body down the toilet.

Women’s abortion regrets did not seem to vary based on how long ago they had the abortion.

A 61-year-old had had her abortion in 1970 and still feels "very guilty and sad"; another 30 years on and [has] never stopped grieving." Some of the women had their abortion less than a year ago and already have strong negative emotional reactions.