Adolescents feel “guilt, shame, and fear of disapproval” after abortion

From a 2004 study that did a group interview with post-abortive adolescents:

“The loss of a potential child by abortion gives rise to the universal experience of mourning, in which adolescents are developmentally more vulnerable…. Because strong cultural and religious taboos exist, aspects of traumatic grief are sometimes ignored….

The adolescents described feelings of guilt, shame, secrecy, or confusion that clarified how the social stigma of abortion was reinforced in the high school setting. American adolescents are more likely to disapprove of abortion because they tend to respond in absolute terms to moral issues. Stone and Waszak’s study (Stone, R., & Waszak, C. (1992). Adolescent knowledge and attitudes about abortion. Family Planning Perspectives, 24, 52-57) demonstrated that adolescents’ first association to abortion was “killing the baby” ….

The group members in our study indicated they felt guilty when they were seen entering the abortion clinic, a feeling exacerbated by protesters who were sometimes encountered outside the clinic. Classroom discussions that condemned abortion also made the adolescents feel uncomfortable and guilty….

The socially based negative emotions of guilt, shame, and fear of disapproval were still noted in these group participants, even 40 years after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed women’s right to choose, offering some societal acceptance of this choice. These feelings of guilt and shame, along with the shock and trauma of the pregnancy, can prevent adolescents from incorporating the experience of abortion into a learning experience because the defense of denial is used. This denial may cause a repetition of the shameful experience….

Some group members shared that they talked to the fetus and said, “I’m sorry,” to the fetus.”

Daly, Joan Ziegler, ACSW; Ziegler, Robert, MD; Goldstein, Donna J, RN, CPNP “Adolescent Postabortion Groups” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services; Thorofare Vol. 42, Iss. 10, (Oct 2004): 48-54.

Read more studies about the emotional impact of abortion

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Study shows many women seeking sex-selection abortions are abused

A survey was done of  South Asian immigrant women recruited from a clinic that provides sex determination tests. This clinic was located in the US but catered to Asian women who wanted to find out the sex of their babies to have an abortion if the child was a girl.

It found that one third of the women cited past physical abuse and neglect related specifically to their failing to produce a male child.

Sunita Puri et al., “There Is Such a Thing As Too Many Daughters, but Not Too Many Sons: A Qualitative Study of Son Preference for Fetal Sex Selection among Indian Immigrants in the United States” Social Science and Medicine 72, 1169 – 1170 (2011)

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Reasons for Abortions 1988

A questionnaire asked women the reasons they aborted. Women could choose more than one. The breakdown was:


I’m concerned about how a baby would change my life 76%

I can’t afford a baby right now 68%

I have problems with my relationship 51%

I want to avoid single parenthood 51%

I don’t want others to know I was having premarital sex 31%

I’m not ready for the responsibility 31%

I’m not mature enough to have a baby 30%

I have all the children I want 26%

My husband or boyfriend wants me to abort 23%

The baby has a possible health problem 13%

My health is not good enough to have a baby 7%

My parents want me to abort 7%

I am a victim of rape or incest 1%


This is from an Alan Guttmacher Institute survey of 1,900 women in 38 states who were waiting for abortions. These women filled out a form asking them why they were obtaining abortions. This survey is described in Aida Torres and Jacqueline Darroch Forrest. “Why Do Women Have Abortions?” Alan Guttmacher Institute Family Planning Perspectives, July/August 1988, pages 169 to 176.

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Only 1.31% of abortions in 1981-1990 done for rape, health reasons

Only a small minority of abortions were done in the 1980s from the so-called “hard cases” of rape, incest, and health problems.


To save the mother’s life or health 0.13%

For rape and incest     0.07%

For fetal birth defects     0.24%

For girls under 15 years old 1.0%

Total ‘hard cases’             1.31%

Non-Medically Indicated Abortions   98.56%

United States Bureau of Commerce, Department of the Census. National Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States. 1990, 110th edition. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. Table 101, “Legal Abortions, By Selected Characteristics: 1973 to 1985.” Also: Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) annual reports.

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Misconceptions on abortion abound in 1990

According to the New York Times:

An August 1990 Wirthlin Group survey of 2,000 voters nationwide showed that 47% believe that there are less than 500,000 abortions per year, as opposed to the actual number of 1.6 million. Respondents also said that an average of 46 percent of all abortions are performed to save the life of the mother and for rape and incest an overestimation of 25,000 percent!

Peter Steinfels. “New Voice, Same Words on Abortion.” The New York Times November 20, 1990, page A10.

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If treated, 25% of babies born at 22 weeks survive

From an article in National Right to Life news:

“The results of a massive study of nearly 5,000 extremely premature babies published last Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the survival rate of babies born at 22 and 23 weeks increased substantially if hospitals actively treat the babies.

NEJM study shows nearly a quarter of babies born at 22 weeks survive if actively treated; 33% for babies born at 23 weeks….

Two of the study leaders– Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa and University of Iowa medical student Matthew Rysavy–talked to various publications to explain what their findings represented.

Dr. Bell told the New York Times’ Pam Belluck that at Iowa, treatment is offered to most 22-week-olds, and he considers 22 weeks a new marker of viability.

“That’s what we think, but this is a pretty controversial area,” Dr. Bell said. “I guess we would say that these babies deserve a chance.”

Dave Andrusko “NEJM study shows nearly a quarter of babies born at 22 weeks survive if aggressively treated; 33% for babies born at 23 weeks” National Right to Life May 7, 2015

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Few people knew Roe legalized abortion through all 9 months

From The Daily Oklahoman, January 26, 1992:

“Gallup last year found that 69.9 % of respondents thought there were existing restrictions on abortion that actually are not in place because of Roe. Only 17.6 % knew that the effect of Roe was to legalize abortion throughout all 9 months of pregnancy.

Gallup has also found 86.1 % support for laws which would require women to get information about fetal development and abortion alternatives before procuring abortions. Nearly 70% supported requiring parental consent for abortions performed on minors, and 69.2 % opposed abortion as a means of birth control. A full 54.8 % would back a requirement that the baby’s biological father must consent before abortions…

An October 1989 Wirthlin Group poll which found 69% popular support for the proposition that “the lives of unborn babies should be protected.”

Oliver Trager Abortion: Choice & Conflict (New York: Facts on File, 1993) 42

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Author compares African American death toll from abortion to other causes of death

Elisha J Israel writes about the toll abortion takes in the African American community:

“In 2008, according to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.21 million abortions in the United States and 30% of these were performed on African-American women. In this year African-American women averaged 994 abortions per day. To put this in perspective, in the years between 1882 in 1968, known as the “Lynching Century”, the Tuskegee Institute recorded 3466 lynchings of African-Americans. Today, through abortion that number 3446 is surpassed in about 4 days… In any given year since 1973, the number of abortions surpassed the amount of deaths of the 10 leading causes of death for African Americans. Since 1973, more black lives have died from abortion than for deaths resulting from heart disease, violent crime, HIV/AIDS, cancer, accidents, and diabetes combined.”

Elisha J Israel Killing Black Innocents (2017) 96

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Study shows one fourth of post-abortion women think abortion is wrong

From a 1988 book on abortion:

“In one study, researchers found that one fourth of the women who had abortions felt that it was morally wrong; 8% of them did not believe that any woman who wants an abortion should be able to obtain it legally.”

Susan Neiburg Terkel Abortion: Facing the Issues (New York: Franklin Watts, 1988) 86

This seems to indicate that a sizable number of women who have abortions later come to believe they did something wrong.

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2004 poll shows majority oppose abortion after heartbeat begins

A May 2004 Zogby survey of over 1000 Americans found:

61% agree abortion should not be permitted after a fetal heartbeat has begun

65% agree abortion should not be permitted after fetal brain waves are detected

74% disagree with US tax dollars being used to pay for abortions

77% favor laws requiring specific information about fetal pain being given to women 20 weeks pregnant or more prior to an abortion

“More Americans Hold Pro-Life Views” Family Policy News May 2004

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