If you’ve had an abortion, you are not alone in your experience. Lots of women have abortions; women of all races, religions, and sexual orientations and women of a wide range of ages, education, and income. Abortion is one of the most commonly performed gynecological procedures in the United States, where about 1.2 million abortions are performed annually. Women have abortions for a number of different reasons and, while many women’s reasons are similar, each person’s experience is unique.
Abortion is a common experience for women and girls, worldwide.
Did you know?
- At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four will have an abortion by age 30 and three in 10 will have one by age 45.
- Women of all ages, races, economic backgrounds, and religious beliefs have abortions.
- More than one million abortions occur in the United States every year.
- The lifetime average is about one abortion per woman, worldwide.
*Source: The Guttmacher Institute, 2011.
Take care of yourself.
If you’ve just had an abortion, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally, after the procedure is over. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat complete meals, and do things you enjoy, like going to the movies, spending time with friends, or taking a walk. Calling Exhale can be a part of how you take care of yourself. Be sure to read and follow all the after-care guidelines from your abortion provider.
There is no “right” way to feel. Feelings are different for everyone and they often change over time. You may experience a range of feelings after an abortion; this is entirely natural. Women often experience feelings such as sadness, happiness, empowerment, anxiety, grief, relief, and guilt. You might experience several feelings at once. Whatever you are feeling, we are here to listen.
If some time has passed since your abortion, it’s never too late to find a way to express your feelings or talk with someone who listens. Many women have found writing about their experience, whether in a journal or as a letter, a helpful tool for working through their emotions. Calling the Exhale talkline, praying, cooking, making art, adopting a pet, or climbing a mountain have been known to work as well. What’s important is that you find something that works for you, and that it fits your life, beliefs, and needs.
Exhale offers a free, national talkline that provides emotional support, resources and information. All calls are completely confidential and counselors offer support and respect without judgment. The service is available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.
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