Health News

Most Women Are Sure About Their Decision To Have Abortions, Study Says

Photo from Flickr

The majority of women who get abortions tend to be certain about their decision beforehand, and don’t regret it afterwards, a new study says. These results challenge the mandatory waiting restrictions in many states, where the assumption is that women might change their minds about an abortion given enough time to think things over.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, polled 500 women at four family planning clinics in Utah, News.Mic reports. On the whole, uncertainty about the procedure was quite low, dispelling the anti-abortionist premise that women usually regret their decision to abort, and fall into depression.

Lauren J. Ralph, lead study author and epidemiologist, says,

Women are certain about their decision to have an abortion when they seek out care – even more certain than patients deciding about reconstructive knee surgery.

The researchers use the Decisional Conflict Scale in the survey, which is the “gold standard” for measuring decision-making in health care. The respondents answered 16 questions before undergoing abortions.

Of the women surveyed, 89% continued with the procedure, and on average, were very certain about what they wanted. The level of uncertainty was only 15.5 out of a possible 100, the same level as a “mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis, prenatal testing after infertility and antidepressant use during pregnancy,” the study noted.

This means that women are about as certain in their decision to abort as much as they are about other routine reproductive health choices. Their findings back a July 2015 study, where the results showed that women almost never regret the decision to have an abortion.

To date, 35 states mandate that women attend counseling before getting abortions, according to the Gutmacher Institute. Of these, 27 oblige women to wait a certain amount of time after counseling before they can proceed.

Pro-choice advocates point to these waiting periods as unnecessary, even inconvenient measures. Around one-third of women have to drive over 25 miles to gain access to abortion services, which takes a financial toll when the trip has to be repeated multiple times.

Activists say this study should help put to rest the old arguments that women don’t know their own minds, and that they need help deciding on their own bodies.

The study was published in Contraception.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.