How To Deal With Grief Following An Abortion

Abortions are medical procedures in which a pregnancy is terminated. There are a variety of reasons why some people might choose to have an abortion. For some, pregnancy can be unplanned and they may feel unprepared to have a child. For others sexual trauma or assault can have resulted in an unwanted pregnancy that they are seeking to terminate. Still, for others, pregnancy complications can lead to an unviable pregnancy or these complications may pose a threat to the mother's life, and abortion can be the safest medical treatment option.

Therefore, there is no standardized reason that someone may seek an abortion. However, emotional stress from the procedure can occur in any of the above scenarios. While the procedure itself is straightforward, the emotions that come later can be anything but. Many women may begin to feel guilt or anger towards themselves following the abortion.


This procedure is very personal and fully understanding the potential grieving process that may accompany it can help people to be better prepared. In some cases, women may feel a sense of grief after undergoing an abortion. This is a completely normal reaction and does not mean that anything abnormal occurred following the procedure.

The chemical makeup of your brain contributes to the amount of grief and stress you may experience following an abortion. This article will discuss the various ways that grief can be handled following an abortion and can help you to find ways to heal and move forward.

It is also important to note that there are times when abortion is required in order to preserve the life of the mother. In many medical cases of abortion, the family must make a difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy in order to preserve the life of the mother. In these cases of pregnancy loss, it can be very common for immense grief to be experienced by the family. These cases differ slightly from other abortion procedures, but both varieties can experience grief and loss following the procedure.

What Is Post Abortion Syndrome?

In order to understand the post abortion grief experience, it is important to define what post abortion stress syndrome is. Post abortion syndrome refers to a medical condition in which the residual pain of abortion is felt through grief. Coping with ending a pregnancy can be very challenging and sadness after an abortion can occur. Abortion and mental health are very closely related and post abortion grief is a very real symptom. Other emotions that may become present during this time are anger, shame, guilt, or other mental and physical turmoil.

Dealing with an abortion can release many of these harmful emotions and abortion grief can be unpredictable for many women. Many of these emotions can negatively impact both your mental and physical health in the long run. Stress and grief can impact your sleep which can in turn affect your immune system and overall well being. The toll that coping with an abortion can take on your immune system means it is easier to get sick.

Therefore, it is important to take post abortion syndrome seriously in order to best take care of your own health when it comes to recovering from an abortion. It is important to remember that recovering from an abortion does not just involve the physical body, but the emotional recovery after an abortion is just as integral. The symptoms of post abortion syndrome can actually resemble PTSD in some scenarios. This means you should pay close attention to your state of being following an abortion to reduce any negative effects that may come with the procedure.


It is important to know what post abortion care entails when trying to work through the emotional implications that accompany the procedure. Your feelings after an abortion can be unpredictable and volatile making post abortion care very important. After the abortion is performed, there are multiple different aspects of post abortion care that are taken into consideration by most medical providers.


Medical treatment is provided if there are any physical complications with the procedure itself. Some possible physical impacts that can result from an abortion are septic shock or bowel damage. Possible ectopic pregnancies can also occur. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. It can then harm the adjacent organs and may lead to dangerous internal bleeding. While these symptoms are not necessarily very common, they can be dangerous if left untreated. Therefore, proper medical care following the abortion procedure is essential for ensuring the health of the patient.

After the medical care component, healthcare providers also try to connect the patients with potential mental health professionals if needed following the abortion. These trained professionals can help women navigate the post abortion emotions that they may be feeling such as grief or sadness. It is very natural to experience some grief and depression following an abortion. Therefore, it is important that mental health resources be provided as a part of post abortion after care.


In addition to mental health services, the medical providers also look to offer education regarding contraceptives in order to prevent any future unplanned or complicated pregnancies. Increased access to contraception can help patients maintain healthier and safer reproductive lives. This can help prevent future abortions and limit their exposure to the potentially adverse effects of the procedure.

Health care professionals can also offer other sexual health services such as screening for sexually transmitted diseases. This can be especially important for those who may have experienced some form of sexual trauma that led them to seek an abortion. Some sexually transmitted diseases can be extremely harmful if left untreated and this is an integral component of post abortion care.

All components of the post abortion care system look to provide care and support for the women and their families. However, the emotions associated with an abortion can linger. Therefore, it is important that coping strategies and solutions are offered to women who may be struggling following an abortion.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Abortion Grief?

This section of the article will discuss the various symptoms of abortion trauma and grief so that you can better identify and treat the effects of this type of grief. Grief is a universal emotion that can be brought about due to a variety of causes. Grief can manifest itself in different ways, but there are some symptoms that seem to be fairly standardized when it comes to grief.

Abortion grief can look different for different people. While this is a condition that is not uncommon among women who have abortions, the experience is very individualized for each unique case. Therefore, the symptoms can vary depending on each person's individual experience. Some common symptoms that are experienced after abortions are bouts of crying, extreme depression, or feelings of guilt and regret. Sometimes feelings of guilt and regret can arise due to personal moral and religious beliefs. This struggle can have lasting impacts on overall mental well being.


Other symptoms may also be common such as an inability to forgive yourself. You may also experience anger toward yourself or someone else in your life. These emotions can also shift toward intense sadness or grief, and it is possible that you may begin to feel uncomfortable around babies or pregnant women. These individuals may bring up painful memories and it can lead to a perpetual cycle of grief and depression.

You may also begin to experience ambivalence or fear of pregnancy. If you notice that you are experiencing any of these emotions following an abortion procedure, make sure to talk to a mental health professional. These doctors are trained to handle situations such as this so that you can navigate through your life. It is also important to remember that these emotions are relatively common and this does not mean that you should feel isolated or alone during this time.

How Do You Know When To Seek Additional Help For Your Grief?

It is possible to manage abortion grief with the help of a few close friends or family and the implementation of healthy coping mechanisms. However, there are times when abortion grief can get out of control and may begin to negatively impact your life and well being. It is important to be able to identify the severity of your grief and be able to objectively determine whether you need to seek additional support and assistance.

This section of the article will discuss the warning signs for severe abortion grief that may require additional support and assistance.


One sign of severe abortion grief and trauma comes from feelings of hopelessness and despair following the procedure. These feelings can suggest a more serious underlying mental health struggle that should be addressed in order to promote personal healing and health. Emotions such as hopelessness and despair can stem from repressed feelings of guilt or anger after an abortion. These feelings of utter loss and desperation can impact your physical well being in the long term. These emotions make it difficult to care for yourself and anyone else in your life. This means it is important to seek additional help if you are experiencing these emotions following an abortion.


Pay close attention to any changes in your appetite or sleep patterns following an abortion procedure. If you notice that you are not feeling hungry or you are struggling to sleep, this may indicate that you are struggling with severe grief following the abortion. These changes may also occur in the opposite manner. You may notice that you are sleeping much more than you had previously or may be drawn to binge eating. Regardless of the shift, please pay close attention to any drastic changes in your sleep or appetite. This may indicate a deeper problem involving grief and loss after an abortion. If you notice these symptoms, make sure to reach out to a medical professional for assistance.


Another sign of severe grief is losing the ability to focus on important tasks. If you notice that you are struggling to focus on work or relationships following an abortion, this may suggest you are struggling to handle the mental stress of the procedure. A few days of distraction are quite normal following a medical procedure, but if you notice a continual struggle to focus, make sure to reach out to a professional. Mental health specialists can help you to identify healthy coping strategies and devise a plan to move forward.


A common symptom of severe grief is the inability to enjoy regular activities. If you notice that your old hobbies or interests are no longer engaging or enjoyable, this may suggest that you are struggling with intense grief after an abortion. It is natural to feel some emotional differences following an abortion, however, experiencing extreme disinterest in things that once brought you joy may hint at a more serious grief cycle. Make sure to speak with a medical professional about these symptoms if you begin to notice a personal disinterest in activities that were once enjoyable. They can help you find the best solution and plan for navigating through the grieving process.


Another indication of strong grief is choosing to withdraw from the important people in your life. After an abortion, you may want to spend some more time alone, and this is a natural response following the medical procedure. However, if this time extends and you find yourself avoiding those that were once close to you, this may be cause for some concern. Severe depression can manifest in a way that causes those affected to avoid the people who have given them love and support. This avoidance is often driven by feelings of guilt. If you notice that you or someone you know is acting very withdrawn, make sure to seek help. Healing through grief often involves relying on family and friends to give support and shoving them out of your life will only make the process more painful.

How Do You Deal With Abortion Grief?

Now that you know more about grief following abortion, keep reading to discover how to deal with and manage abortion grief. This section of the article will discuss the best coping mechanisms and strategies to navigate through the grieving process following an abortion.


One of the most important steps to take in processing grief after an abortion is acknowledging the feelings that you are having and experiencing. Denial is never a healthy path to embark on when working toward growth and recovery. Therefore, it is key that you address the emotions you experience following an abortion.

These feelings might not be what you expected. Some of these feelings may involve guilt anger and sadness, but fully accepting those emotions can help you to work through your struggles. Accepting that the emotions you are feeling are normal can also help you to move forward in the process of healing.


If you feel comfortable doing so, it can be very helpful to talk about the abortion with safe and non-judgmental people. Abortion can be controversial to some, so it is important to identify safe individuals who will not judge you when sharing your experience and emotions with others.

Hopefully, you will have a few close individuals who can offer their support and love to you during this time. Other individuals such as trained therapists and medical professionals can also help you navigate your emotions during this time.


There are many articles and resources online that can make you feel overwhelmed following an abortion. This means that it is very important to never compare your feelings to those of anyone else. Your experience with abortion is going to be completely individual and unique so do not listen to the feelings of others at this time.

No one can fully understand your experience and therefore it is not helpful to compare your feelings to those of others during this time. You can rely on support from others but understand and acknowledge that your emotions are valid and may be different from other peoples'.


Abortions are medical procedures and therefore it is important to care for your physical health following the procedure. Abortions as you have learned can also impact your mental health which can have physical implications as well. If you are struggling with post abortion grief, you may also struggle to take care of your body's needs such as eating properly and exercising enough.

If you are looking to heal emotionally and physically following an abortion, it is important that you take care of your body's well being. This means it is important to eat regular meals that are filled with nutritious ingredients. You should also make sure to move your body. Exercise is actually known to help reduce depression in some adults and this may help you feel more grounded throughout your grieving process.

Other activities such as yoga or breathing exercises can also help you to feel more grounded. These activities allow you to escape your own head so that you can gain valuable perspective and feel at peace. These coping strategies can then help you in the future when you deal with mentally challenging scenarios. If you do not know where to start with these exercises, the internet has a plethora of resources that can assist you in implementing a healing practice of yoga or breathing.


Many people underestimate the impact that food can have on both your physical and mental well being. Make sure to take a proper multivitamin while also focusing on consuming whole foods. Prioritize protein, and healthy fruits and vegetables in order to maintain optimal energy levels. Fueling your body with the proper nutrients can allow you to feel more grounded. This healthy baseline can allow you to work through lingering feelings of grief and sadness following an abortion.


If you are looking for another way to focus on emotional healing following an abortion, consider attending a calming retreat. There are a variety of options available that can help individuals process grief. A quick online search can show you a variety of options that will focus on teaching you healthy coping mechanisms to manage your own grief.

You can also ask your doctor or therapist for any recommendations if you are struggling to select a retreat all on your own. These retreats can help you to take some needed distance and assess your life in a consciously grounded manner. This can help offer your perspective that can help you on your healing journey.


There is a plethora of information in books and on the internet that can help you work through grief following an abortion. If you are really struggling with feelings of grief and sadness after an abortion, try reading various materials that can help you manage your emotions in a healthy manner. These books can help you to discover new coping mechanisms and may allow you to navigate through difficult times more easily.

If you are struggling to find books or resources to read, make sure to check in with your doctor or mental health professional, as they will have a variety of suggestions. While this may seem like an extremely simple method, reading can be an effective way to educate yourself on such complex matters. You can go to your local library to search for books regarding grief and the grieving process. Your library may also be able to help you locate community services and groups that specialize in grief counseling or healthy coping strategies.


There have been numerous scientific studies that show the positive impacts of nature on the mind and body. If you are struggling with depression and grief following an abortion, make sure you are taking time to be out in nature. Exposing yourself to the fresh air can help you to clear your mind and work through the emotions you are experiencing. Try finding a local park or nature preserve and go for a hike. This form of active meditation can allow you to calm your mental outlook while also prioritizing your physical health.


Enrolling in therapy or group counseling can be another great option for those who are struggling with grief after an abortion. Trained mental health professionals such as therapists can help you to navigate through the guilt you may feel following an abortion. These individuals are experts when it comes to mental health and common emotional challenges such as grief or guilt. Seeking help from these professionals can help you to feel less alone after such a large change in your personal life. They can also help teach you healthy coping mechanisms in order to prioritize personal well being after an abortion.

Other methods such as group counseling may also be able to help you work through this time. Make sure to check with your doctor before enrolling in group counseling in order to ensure that the group is a positive fit for your own experiences. However, group counseling can allow you to learn from others' perspectives while also learning to accept and heal in parts of your personal life. Also, consider getting in contact with other women who are struggling with guilt after an abortion. Their insight may help you to process your own emotional trauma.


In addition to reading, journaling is a wonderful way to work through your emotions after an abortion. It is very common for people to feel lost after an abortion. Personal conflict may become very apparent and this can make life challenging. Feelings of anger or guilt or grief can make it difficult to live their normal life and sometimes the pressure may begin to overwhelm them.

A wonderful way to alleviate some of this stress is to pick up the habit of writing in a journal. Journals can be a wonderful way to work through difficult emotions and grief filled times. If you are struggling to handle your emotions after an abortion, consider keeping a daily journal.

Use the journal to document your emotions every single day. Make sure to record when you are feeling as though you are losing control. When you notice that you are feeling especially sad or angry, write about these emotions. After you begin to collect these entries, look back in order to notice patterns or identify possible coping strategies. Journaling can allow you to discover more about yourself and your ability to work through certain emotions. These journals can also help you to track your growth and progress as you work to prioritize your own health and well being after an abortion.


If you are struggling with feelings of guilt or depression after an abortion, consider purchasing a piece of memorial jewelry in memory of the lost pregnancy. For those that struggle with post abortion guilt and self-hatred after an abortion, personalized keepsake jewelry can act as a thoughtful memorial. This can help people to move past feelings of guilt and loss after an abortion.

These pieces can be customized to suit the needs of any individual and can allow for much needed closure. Even for parents who desired a healthy pregnancy but abortion was needed to resolve medical complications, keepsake urns or jewelry can help them to process the loss of a pregnancy. Ever Memories' website has multiple articles that can help you pick out keepsake urns or jewelry pieces. A personalized keepsake can help your emotional health after an abortion.


Purchasing a memorial urn can be another option for grieving families of pregnancies that had to be terminated due to medical complications. In these situations, families struggle with the loss of their unborn child and it can be difficult to determine how to grieve in these situations. Abortion stigma is very prevalent in today's society and these families may feel unaccepted or lost after the procedure. Purchasing a memorial urn for the unborn child can allow these individuals to feel comfort and closure after a difficult time.

Companies such as Ever Memories can help you to select an affordable urn or piece of photo engraved jewelry to help after the loss of a baby. These thoughtful pieces of grief jewelry can allow the grieving individuals to feel a sense of connection to the lost child. Purchasing one of these pieces can help as a way to grieve after an abortion. If you have questions about memorial urns look at this article.

Grief & Abortion Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deal with heartbreak after an abortion?

It can be difficult to deal with heartbreak after an abortion. However, there are a variety of ways to manage these emotions after the procedure. It is very important to be in tune with your emotional and mental well being following the abortion. If you notice signs of severe depression, make sure to seek out professional help from a therapist or mental health professional. Some strategies such as exercising and journaling can help you to develop healthy coping strategies after an abortion.

How can I help a friend who is dealing with grief after an abortion? 

If you know a friend who is struggling with grief after an abortion, make sure to offer them nonjudgmental support. This is a very difficult time for them and allowing yourself to be present and supportive can be very helpful. Make sure you check in with them regularly and try to spend time with them. Cooking a simple meal or taking them for a walk can help them feel both seen and supported. These simple actions can speak much louder than words and may alleviate some of their burden.

Is abortion grief the same as miscarriage grief? 

Abortions and miscarriages are different and therefore the grief that is felt due to both of them can be different too. While individuals who experience these situations can both feel grief, the grief experienced is very personal. There are a variety of reasons that one might have an abortion and this can impact the type of grief they experience. Miscarriages involve the loss of a pregnancy that is not through a medical procedure and is out of the control of the mother. Because of the differences between these experiences, grief can look different from abortion grief. While there may be similarities in the situations, grief is processed differently by every individual person.

How do I move forward after having an abortion? 

It can be challenging to see a way forward after having an abortion. Every person is different in their ability to process and cope with the procedure. It is important to rely on close family and friends to help you work through this difficult time. Try to remember that you are not alone in this process and there are many ways for you to work through the grief that can accompany the procedure. Try enrolling in therapy or find some grief counseling books at your local library. All of these are wonderful ways to combat the grief you may feel and move forward while prioritizing your own health and mental well being.

Is it okay and acceptable to talk about having an abortion? 

This is very dependent on the people involved in the situation. Talking about the abortion may allow you to work through your grief and feel more grounded. However, not all people feel the same way about abortion. Abortion is still a very disputed topic and it is not advised to put yourself in a position where you will be criticized harshly following the procedure. This is important to take into account before discussing the topic with just anyone. Ensure that you are in a safe and supportive space before discussing your abortion. This can help ensure that you feel cared for rather than isolated when sharing such emotional experiences.

Where do I find support for abortion grief? 

There are a variety of places that offer support for abortion grief. You can ask your doctor or medical professional for recommendations after the procedure. You can also look online for resources that can point you in the direction of support groups for abortion grief. There are many groups and reading resources that can help you manage your grief in a healthy way following an abortion. You might also look into group counseling for those who are struggling with grief. These groups can help you to gain an important perspective on life and may allow you to work towards healing and acceptance in your own life. Connecting with other women who struggle with grief following an abortion can also help you to feel less alone throughout the entire ordeal. Shared experiences and a deeper understanding between these women can allow you to process your own emotions following an abortion.

What does grief after an abortion feel like? 

Grief after abortion looks different for every person. There is no standardized definition for post abortion grief. However, you may notice that you are feeling fatigued or uninterested in tasks that you used to enjoy participating in. You might also notice a change in your sleep pattern or eating habits. Some people may also become more isolated or irritable after an abortion when they are experiencing grief. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to seek professional help. These emotions are completely natural but should be treated in order to promote your well being and overall health.

Moving Forward After Abortion

Abortion is not merely a medical procedure, but a procedure that carries lasting implications for many women's lives. The decision to receive an abortion is extremely personal and the motive behind the procedure is different for every person. However, you do not need to feel alone if you are experiencing grief and sadness after the procedure. Grief is a common emotion that many women feel after getting an abortion and suffering in silence is not the answer. There are a variety of ways to work through your grief following an abortion. Trying to focus on supporting your body with healthy habits and seeking out the help of mental health professionals can allow you to find closure following the procedure. If the loss of the pregnancy brought immense loss and pain into your life, you can also consider getting a piece of remembrance jewelry or making ashes into jewelry to honor the unborn child.

Regardless of your personal coping methods and strategies, reminding yourself to be gentle and work to heal every day is crucial. Grieving an abortion can be very difficult and may lead you to feel isolated and desperate. These emotions often cause extreme distress for those who are trying to heal. Seeking abortion support can help you to find your footing following the procedure. There are a variety of outlets that you can turn to throughout your healing process. Try to surround yourself with non-judgmental friends and family in order to process your own emotions following the abortion. You do not have to experience the emotional effects of abortion alone. There is no right or wrong way to work through your emotions and grief, but making sure to reflect and find healthy coping mechanisms can make the process more bearable.

October 18, 2023 by Frances Kay