3 Tips for Avoiding After-Abortion Guilt

teenage girl has positive pregnancy testDespite Pro-Choice advocates’ insistence that a fetus is distinctly different from a baby, many women who have had abortions feel depressed or guilty after they have had this simple medical procedure. The fact that similar stories fail to accompany removal of organs such as gall bladders or appendices seems to be a moot point. If you wish to go through with an abortion but don’t want the emotional turmoil that comes with knowing that you’ve determined the death of your own child, here are a few tips:

1. Choose the type of abortion carefully.

By making the decision early and having an abortion done as soon as possible, you can easily live in denial that what has been killed was anything close to a baby. In fact, by having an abortion during the first 9 weeks of pregnancy, you have the option of a medical abortion, as opposed to a surgical abortion. Instead of the more invasive surgical procedures, a medical abortion can be as simple as popping a single RU-486 pill (also referred to as “the abortion pill,” Mifepristone, Misoprostol, or Mifeprex).

If you choose the surgical route between 6 and 12 weeks gestation, suction aspiration is the method your doctor will likely use. If you see the aborted fetus, it will likely bear little resemblance to a full-term baby. Surgical options available during the second and third trimesters may be more traumatic, since they typically involve severing the connection between you and your baby, which you may already be able to feel moving inside you, at the time.

2. Refuse to view a sonogram of your fetus.

Increasingly used by Pro-Life advocates, ultrasound images have been proven to help deter some women from going through with planned abortions. While you can easily find generic images of fetuses at various stages of development viewing the actual child you are carrying may convince you that you are carrying is actually a child, complete with facial features. The phrase “a face only a mother could love” may come to mind if you actually see your baby’s face.

While a growing number of states require that an ultrasound be done prior to an abortion, it is still your right to refuse to view the imaging of the life you are about to end.

3. Exercise your right to choose by choosing life.

There is something empowering about being able to choose, but choosing doesn’t have to mean ending your child’s life. Even though pro-choice advocates assert that it is you, the mother, who determines when your baby’s life begins, only you have the power to allow your child’s life to continue. You can exercise more freedom of choice by deciding to raise your own child, which comes with myriad choices both within that first pivotal year and throughout his or her childhood. As an alternative, you can choose to put your baby up for adoption and even decide on the adoptive parents your child will have. You could also delay a permanent choice by opting for foster care.

While some types of abortion are less likely to promote depression or guilt than others, the safest way to avoid abortion repercussions, both physically and emotionally, is to choose not to have one.

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