Ninety-five percent of women who have received an abortion do not regret their decision to do so, according to a study published in academic journal PLOS ONE. The three-year study involved almost 670 women of all social backgrounds (determined by race, education, and employment) and was carried out by researchers from the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UC San Francisco's School of Medicine.

Forty percent of the women cite financial considerations as the primary reason for abortion and 36 percent had decided it was "not the right time." Twenty-six percent of women found the decision very or somewhat easy and 53 percent found it very or somewhat difficult.

Many anti-abortion campaigners claim that the procedure causes women to suffer emotionally, and have a tendency to conflate having lingering emotions after an abortion with regretting the abortion altogether—which is a distinction the UC San Francisco study makes clear. While short-term emotional distress was common post-abortion, the "overwhelming majority" of the women participating in the study felt that abortion had been the right decision "both in the short-term and over three years."

Certainly, experiencing feelings of guilt or regret in the short-term after an abortion is not a mental health problem; in fact, such emotions are a normal part of making a life decision that many women in this study found to be difficult,” the study reads. “Our results of declining emotional intensity… [find] steady or improving levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, stress, social support, stress, substance use, and symptoms of depression and anxiety over time post-abortion.

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