June 6, 2024

How to deal with abortion grief

Depending on your reasons for the abortion, you may have many opposing emotions. Often abortions can have great feelings of relief paired with sadness, despair and guilt.

How to deal with abortion grief

The grief that comes along with abortion can encompass many emotions. Depending on your reasons for the abortion, you may have many opposing emotions. Often abortions can have great feelings of relief paired with sadness, despair and guilt. Every person has their own reproductive story, this is the story we have created about becoming pregnant or becoming a parent. This story is written throughout each one of our lives unconsciously and oftentimes we may not even realize how deep the story goes. Rarely does our reproductive story come with the thought of an abortion or an unplanned pregnancy that we terminate. Experiencing different kinds of emotions is normal when you are going through abortion grief, it can be a painful and exhausting process.

Whether you choose to abort due to an unplanned pregnancy, or relationship problems women find themselves feeling grief and sadness and also feeling relief. Abortion grief comes with its own set of challenges as not everyone can relate and provide the support that you may need to deal with abortion grief. You may not feel comfortable sharing your abortion grief with many people. Abortion is a controversial topic. However, here at Box for Loss, we have one main mission and goal. We are dedicated to supporting all families going through any type of loss and helping you deal with your grief in a healthy way, including abortion.

How To Deal With Abortion Grief

“Grief is a transitional process from what was to what is to come. It is not a rational/ cognitive process, but an energetic physio-emotional process in response to loss and/or change no matter how insignificant or profound, real or perceived.” Kelduyn R Garland PhD, DD

Abortion grief is a transitional journey, and there are six stages in any grief process, knowing these stages may help you better understand and care for yourself while dealing with your emotions following an abortion.

Stages of Grief after an Abortion:

1. Shock/Denial

Even after choosing to have an abortion, the experience can be surreal. You may find yourself in a state of shock or disassociation that this is your experience. Especially for those of us who may not know anyone who has experienced an abortion, or who has previously had very strong viewpoints on choosing to terminate a pregnancy.

2. Anger/Rage

You might find yourself angry. Your anger might present itself to you, the person that got you pregnant or the situation being less than optimal. I recommend that you fully open yourself to these feelings, and take time to journal and feel them authentically.

3. Bargaining

Bargaining is very common with abortion. It might look like if only I had more money, or were in a different relationship, if I had a better job, a supportive family, if my youngest children were older. Bargaining in abortion can be long lasting and can encompass many different avenues.

4. Relief/Guilt

Many times the feelings of relief that come with a termination. Most of us experiencing an abortion feel a great relief once the termination has been completed. But these feelings are often paired with guilt and despair.

5. Depression/Withdrawal

This may start immediately, but oftentimes I see this feeling really come in strong once the baby has passed.

6. Acceptance

Content with the as-is. You find your place with your abortion, as hard as a physical, emotional and spiritual process it is, you feel a clarity about your decision in terminating the pregnancy and know that it was the right decision for you.

How to Cope with Abortion Grief


I recommend journaling, writing out your thoughts can be a therapeutic way to process your experience and grief. Abortion recovery is a process, it takes three months for your hormones to regulate after pregnancy. It is important to remember your body is going through many hormonal changes, so take time to rest and grieve. I recommend taking at least a week off work and exercise. Prioritize nourishing foods, rest and sitting with any emotions that come up.

Grief Takes Time

Every pregnancy we have is transformative and these babies, even the ones we choose to not have, leave different lessons on each life they touch. Grieving after an abortion is challenging. Choosing an abortion doesn’t mean we disregard life, oftentimes it is quite the opposite. Knowing well what this life means, what it is deserving of and choosing to terminate is a huge challenge. And the grief that comes along with it is immense.

Abortion grief can stay with you for a long time. And it isn’t a straight line to healing, it is more like a spiral. These cycles repeat themselves within the cycle. You may think you are past one stage, but it can sometimes circle around. If you find yourself thinking, “I thought I was done with that.” You are not alone, even when we feel as though we have gone through our grieving process, there will always be times when we are drawn back in.

Find Support Groups

Support groups can be a safe space to share your story and support others through theirs. Finding a local Licensed Midwife that offers post abortion support can be another resource Both men and women’s mental health can be affected by pregnancy termination and a support group can be a safe place to share your abortion experience.

Abortion Grief Support Groups

If you know someone who is experiencing an abortion and would like to support them with a grief box; please contact us to make sure to let us know it is for an abortion so we can enclose the proper resources for post-abortion.