Nearly all women content with abortion

On May 25, anti-abortion lobbyist Melissa Clement said in testimony before the Nevada Senate Health Committee, “Imagine you are a parent and your daughter comes home from an abortion. But you don't know. … If she regrets it, can she talk to you? Probably not, because lack of parental involvement during this life-changing decision drives a wedge into families that remains long after that decision is made.” But a new study indicates that regret is rare among women who receive abortions.

Regret is one of the principal arguments made by abortion opponents. In the Arizona Legislature this year, lawmakers processed a bill that allegedly allows “reversing” a medical abortion, which is performed with two tablets. The bill would have required physicians to inform women that if they regretted their decision after taking the first pill, they could return to the doctor to have the procedure reversed. Medical professionals scoffed at the claim.

In Iowa, an “abortion regret” measure would have allowed women to sue their physicians up to 10 years after undergoing abortions if they changed their minds and came to regret it.

The new study, “Decision Rightness and Emotional Responses to Abortion in the United States: A Longitudinal Study,” was done by six researchers and used “a cohort of [667] women seeking abortions between 2008-2010 at 30 facilities.” Published in the journal Plos One, the study found:

“The typical participant, however, had >99 percent chance of reporting that the abortion was right for her over three years, and her negative emotions subsided over time. These findings differ from those of the only other large-scale US prospective study, which found that negative emotions increased, and satisfaction with the abortion decision decreased slightly, over two years.”

The study can be read at