Most women need support around the time of an abortion. Some women may be afraid to seek support because they fear being judged. One of the most important factors in the ability to cope well with the experience is having people to provide care and understanding before, during and after the procedure. It is normal to feel isolated and many women do. There are resources to help you find the support you need.

  • Identify Your Emotions

    Sometimes it can be difficult to describe or name your emotional states. Use both your reasoning and feelings as guides, to help you learn how the decision to have an abortion may be affecting you. Given how common abortion is, it is likely that some of the people you are worried about telling have had the procedure themselves, or have been involved in another situation involving abortion. Understanding how your emotions can help you achieve self-acceptance and healing, while also feeling more comfortable reaching out for support are vital for your well-being.

    Steps to address Isolation:

    • Identify what triggers your feelings of isolation.
    • Isolation is felt when you believe you must keep your experience to ourselves
    • Learn strategies for how to talk to your partner/friends/family


    Stigma can make it hard to share your story, but remember that you are not alone. Abortion is a very common experience, and if women talked about it more openly, we would learn that many people around us have had the procedure.

    Who can you talk to?

    • Support is the most important factor in helping you get through the experience.
    • Support from others means they will listen to you without judging, and will remind you that you are a good person making the decision you feel is best.
    • Ideally you should feel comfortable asking those closest to you for the support you need.
    • If you do not have people you feel comfortable asking for their support, ask your local clinic about counsellors or clergy in your community, or call one of the talklines.
    • Learn more at: How to Talk Family and Friends



    To help destigmatize the experience of abortion, some women like yourself have blogged about it. Please read their stories here:

    Abortion Conversation Project

    Shout Your Abortion

    Exhale Pro Voice

    So I Had An Abortion

    Arts 4 Choice

  • 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 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 Talkline – 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 10am – 1am, Sat – Sun 10am – 6pm EST

  • Access to Counsellors

    Each woman will experience different feelings after an abortion and will deal with it in different ways. Many women don’t feel the need to talk after their abortion. For some women, it’s useful to talk through their grief. If you feel it might help you to talk, you can arrange counselling over the telephone at the clinic where you were treated. This service is free.

  • For Partners

    It may be helpful to know that more than one-third of all women in North America will have an abortion in their lifetime. While it is one of the most common medical procedures, it can be hard to talk about.

    You will probably have feelings after your partner has an abortion, and your feelings may be different from hers.

    It is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally.

    If you are looking for ways to support your partner, ask her what she needs. You don’t need to have all the answers.

    Never underestimate the power of simply listening.

    You can acknowledge any feelings your partner is having, without trying to “fix” them or brush them aside.

    If you are an intimate partner, be affectionate if she welcomes it, but be prepared for her to not want to be sexual.

    There are lots of great ways to offer your partner practical and emotional help, including transportation to and from appointments, providing childcare, providing or preparing food, or simply making sure she has the things that comfort her during a stressful/difficult time. Doing something special for her can help you both feel better.

    Try to accept both positive and negative emotions during the experience.

    For more information, you can also visit: