It’s the month of love. And while we’ve all heard and read about the importance of self-love and self-care - all valid and very important, we’ve haven’t read enough about how abortions are an act of love and care towards oneself. Because they are. And here’s why we think so.

You’re pregnant and you’re not ready to be a mother. So, you’ve decided to have an abortion. While it may be the best option for you, it’s not always an easy choice to make.

But the very decision to put your health first, your future first, your overall economic well being first, is an act of caring and loving yourself.

The best way to deal with conflicting emotions during an abortion is to trust the reason why you chose it in the first place. Walk through some of these points listed below and we hope it reminds you of the fact that if you’re currently having an abortion, your reasons are valid, you are doing what’s best for you and you’re going to be okay.

Remember that abortions are, statistically, safer than giving birth

Dr. David Grimes, the lead author of a study on the risk of death linked with a full-term pregnancy, had this to say -

"Regardless of one's sentiments about abortion, legal abortion is very safe, and dramatically safer than continuing the pregnancy..”

Here’s what the Grimes study stated - the risk of death linked to giving birth is 8.8 per 100,000 women while the risk of death linked to legal abortions are 0.6 per 100,000 women {1}. That’s something worth pondering over every time you read falsehoods around the risks of abortions that are most often shrouded in myths, misconceptions and misinformation.

Abortions are common. Abortions are normal.

Despite many forces rejecting us of our sexual and reproductive rights, laws have been liberating around the way. 34 countries have expanded abortion laws since 2000! We’re heading towards a future that recognises how important it is to have open abortion policies. Women should be trusted to make decisions about what they consider best for their own bodies, health, and lives. Far from being a criminal act, abortion care is a right.

Image Credit - guttmacher.org

Don’t believe the myth- research has debunked any relations to abortions and mental health

This controversial linkage has been used to the advantage of the anti-choice brigade. But there have been several credible studies that have proven little to no link between abortions and depression, post-traumatic stress. For example, the "post-abortion traumatic stress syndrome" that they say is widespread is not recognized by either the American Psychological Association (APA) or the American Psychiatric Association.

Every reason is valid

Millions of women and people experience unplanned pregnancies each year. 4 out of 10 decide to get an abortion. The reasons behind each of these are varied and complex. No two abortion stories or experiences are the same. And that’s okay. Your reasons and circumstances are your alone and as long as you’re in safe hands and following the right abortion guidelines, you and your reason is absolutely valid.

Feeling relieved doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human

If possible, try and forget about the idea of a “right” way to feel about the abortion experience. The internet, pop culture and even your friends may feed you with information, opinions and suggestions of what to do or how to go about it and that could be an overwhelming feeling. Let yourself feel the emotions, so that you can accept it and move on. Most women who get abortions say it was the right decision {2}. And if this sense of relief brings you guild, remember to go back to the real reason why you made that decision for yourself and applaud yourself for caring about your body’s health and wellbeing, without judgement.

A note from HowToUse

Medical abortions are safe, effective and life-saving when administered the right way. If you’re currently experiencing an unintended pregnancy and under 11 weeks, please consider reading through our before using the abortion pills section to better prepare yourself on what to expect. Additional, our blog on a DIY Medical Abortion Care Kit might be a useful read too.

Author’s bio
Sneha Nair is the Global Communications Officer at howtouseabortionpill.org. She lives in Mumbai with her four house plants.