Anxiety from an abortion may stir up emotions that may have been suppressed from an earlier event, even one that happened years ago.

Pregnancy experiences and decisions can be connected and complex, and can also fuel anxiety.

  • Identify your Emotions

    Sometimes it can be difficult to describe or name your emotional states. Use both your reasoning and your feelings as guides, to help you learn how the decision to have an abortion may be affecting you. Understanding how your emotions can help you achieve self-acceptance, and healing.

    Identify what triggers your anxiety, and seek to avoid or overcome those triggers, as appropriate to the situation.

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy provides some proven strategies to address anxiety., including the “ABCD Method.”

    ABCD Method:

    When you are feeling anxious, ask yourself what you are thinking. Then try to reframe that conversation and talk back to the thought that is affecting your mood.

    • A is the Activating event (what happened)
    • B is the Belief of the thought you are having (that is, what you tell yourself about what happened)
    • C is the Consequence (that is, the feeling you have because of the thought)
    • D is the way you Dispute or talk back to the thought

    For more information and self-help strategies using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, visit Anxiety BC

  • Self-Care Techniques

    Remember to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally, after the procedure. Because abortion is complex, feelings about it are also complex. There are various activities that can to help you provide for your emotional wellbeing:

    • Journaling – Writing can be very therapeutic. The following questions are helpful to write about to remind oneself of your decision: What were your reasons for having an abortion? How would your life have been different if you had not had an abortion?
    • Health & Well-being – Do you like to exercise? What are your favourite healthy activities? Is there a hobby you already enjoy, or something new you wish to try? Go out and do those things.
    • Get outside – If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and sad, take a walk outside and get some fresh air.
    • Do something nice for yourself – Light a candle and enjoy a hot bath, re-read a favourite book, re-watch a favourite show or movie or get out for a walk.
    • Rest – Take time to listen to what your body needs. Turn off phones and gadgets and have a warm bath or a nap.
    • Be Creative – Being creative, in any way, can be helpful to release any emotions. Draw something, paint something, sing and dance, cook a favourite meal, or explore a favourite old activity in new way.
  • Meditation 101

    Many things in life are beyond our control. But, we can take responsibility for our own states of mind. Meditation is an evidence-based tool proven to improve quality of life, and our ability to cope with stress. All you need is a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Here is for a short meditation you can access anytime you need.

    To Learn more, visit Moment Meditation at

  • Reach Out to Others

    Having someone provide care and understanding before, during and after an abortion can be one of the most important factors in your ability to cope well.

    If you can’t think of anyone who you might trust to share your story with, you can reach out for free, anonymous support here:

    Exhale After Abortion Talkline 1-866-4-EXHALE (Mon to Fri 5 – 10 pm PST Sat – Sun 12 – 10pm PT) Service available in Spanish, English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

    Counselors will support you with pro-voice counselling.

    For more information visit

    All-Options Talkine – or 1-888-493-0092 for unconditional, judgment-free support for all your feelings, decisions and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption. Mon–Fri.