Women lying down on bed

Fact: between one quarter and one third of Australian women will undergo an abortion during their lifetime.

This statistic alone highlights that the choice to have an abortion is a prevalent one – not only that, but potentially an emotional one.

As reported by TIME, the University of California, San Francisco decided to investigate this emotional link to abortions, conducting a study of almost 1,000 women seeking abortions in the U.S.

What they discovered in this study, which is said to be the most comprehensive of its kind, is that those who were denied an abortion were much more emotionally stressed than those who received one after asking for it.

“There are policies and decisions being made with this assumption that abortion harms women’s mental health,” says M. Antonia Biggs, a social psychologist researcher at UCSF, who is an author of this study.

“We found that the women who were denied abortions had more anxiety, lower self-esteem, and less life satisfaction compared to women who [obtained them initially].”

And their findings back this claim.

Researchers interviewed these women 11 times during their study: once a week after seeking an abortion, and then again every six months for five years.

Their findings showed that those turned away from having an abortion (numerous U.S. states are pushing to ban abortions, or pass laws that make it harder for women to get abortions) reported the highest anxiety levels, compared to those who had the procedure.

“Women should trust their own decisions, be empowered to do what’s best for them,” says Biggs.

“If our goal is to protect women’s health, the evidence suggests that expanding access is the best approach.”

If you would like to talk to someone about having an abortion, or if you feel like you have been negatively impacted by having this procedure, contact Children By Choice for a free and confidential chat.

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