Abortion Hurts Marriages and Relationships

Although abortion primarily affects women and their unborn children, it is undeniable that abortion also greatly impacts the relationships of the women who undergo the process of deliberately terminating a human pregnancy.

Although few studies have been conducted on how abortion affects the relationships of individuals who have abortions, we think it would be obvious that such a difficult experience would put strain on any relationship or marriage.

 

Included below are several statistics and findings that show just a hint of how abortion is emotionally, psychologically, and physically damaging to relationships and marriages, often for a long time. Citations are listed at the bottom of the page. If you have questions about any of the information we have provided, please contact us.

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Abortion Hurts Relationships in Emotional and Psychological Ways

"Abortion is frequently a negative turning point in a relationship leaving scars which can undermine the future of the couple either together or as individuals." - Philip Sorrel, psychiatrist¹

Lack of synchrony in the grieving process between couples can increase social isolation and lack of communication, resulting in marital disharmony in the aftermath of an abortion.³

Differences in partners' grieving processes can introduce extreme conflict and stress in their relationship.²

Most couples report a state of emotional turmoil after the abortion with wives complaining of crying, sadness, and irritability. Husbands report listlessness, loss of concentration, and irritability one year post-abortion.

 

Abortion Hurts Relationships in Physical Ways

Decreased sexual desire post-abortion may result from⁵⁻⁶

  • depression

  • fatigue

  • numbness

  • preoccupation

  • discomfort with sexual activity

  • sexual activity being a reminder of previous conception

  • fear of pregnancy and subsequent loss

  • viewing sexual activity as incompatible with mourning

Research has suggested that women with an abortion history are at an increased risk for sexual dysfunction.⁷⁻¹²

There is strong evidence of relationships between abortion and increased risk for partner aggression during a subsequent pregnancy.¹³¹⁴

American Women Reporting Sexual Problems Attributed to Prior Abortion¹⁵

Men Reporting Post-Abortion Sexual Problems in the First Three Weeks Post-Abortion¹⁶

Evidence suggests there is a decrease in sexual desire post-abortion that is associated with a feeling of not being worthy of one's partner.¹⁷

 

Abortion Hurts Relationships in the Long Term

Couples may experience communication issues post-abortion.¹⁸

Many sources indicate an increased risk for separation or divorce following abortion.¹⁹⁻²³

Women Who Said Their Abortions Three Weeks Prior Adversely Affected Their Relationship²⁴

Men Who Said a Partner's Abortion Three Weeks Prior Adversely Affected Their Relationship²⁵

Only 0.9% of American women indicated relationship benefits due to abortion.²

American Women Indicating Relationship Problems Due to an Abortion Experience²⁷

Relationships Ending Within a Year Post-Abortion (German Study)²⁸

 

Citations

  1. Sarrel, Philip M., "Male Abortion Counseling," Connecticut Medicine, 1988, p. 244.

  2. White-van Mourik, M.C., Connor, J.M., Ferguson Smith, M.A. "The Psychosocial Sequelae of a Second Trimester Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality." Prenatal Diagnosis, vol. 12, no. 3, 1992, pp. 189-204.

  3. White-van Mourik, M.C., Connor, J.M., Ferguson Smith, M.A. "The Psychosocial Sequelae."

  4. White-van Mourik, M.C., Connor, J.M., Ferguson Smith, M.A. "The Psychosocial Sequelae."

  5. Hagemeister, A. K., and Rosenblatt, R. C., "Grief and the Sexual Relationship of Couples who Have Experienced a Child's Death," Death Studies, vol. 21, 1997, pp. 231-253.

  6. Wing D. G., Clance, R. R., Burge-Callaway K., Armistead L., "Understanding Gender Differences in Bereavement Following the Death of an Infant: Implications for Treatment," Psychotherapy, vol. 38, 2001, pp. 60-73.

  7. Fok, W. Y., Siu, S. S. N., Lau, T. K., "Sexual Dysfunction After a First Trimester Induced Abortion in a Chinese Population," European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, vol. 126, 2006, pp. 255-258.

  8. Bianchi Demicelli, F., Perrin, E., Ludicke, F., Bianchi, P. G., Chatton, D., Campana, A., "Termination of Pregnancy and Women's Sexuality," Gynecology and Obstetrics Investigation, vol. 53, 2002, pp. 48-53.

  9. Boesen, H. C., Rorbye, C., Norgaard, M., Nilas, L., "Sexual Behavior During the First Eight Weeks after Legal Termination of Pregnancy," Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, vol. 83, 2004, pp. 1189-1192.

  10. Miller, W. B., "An Empirical Study of the Psychological Antecedents and Consequences of Induced Abortion," Journal of Social Issues, vol. 48, 1992, pp. 67-93.

  11. Rue, V. M., Coleman, R. K., Rue, J. J., Reardon, D. C., "Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress: A Preliminary Comparison of American and Russian Women," Medical Science Monitor, vol. 10, 2004.

  12. Tornbom, M., and Moller, A., "Repeat Abortion: A Qualitative Study," Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 20, 1999, pp. 21-30.

  13. Amaro, H., Fried, L. W., Cabral, H., Zuckerman, B., "Violence During Pregnancy and Substance Use," American Journal of Public Health, vol. 80, 1990, pp. 575-579.

  14. Hedin, L. W., and Janson, P. O., "Domestic Violence During Pregnancy. The Prevalence of Physical Injuries, Substance Use, Abortions and Miscarriages," Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, vol. 79, no. 8, 2000, pp. 625-630.

  15. Rue, V. M., Coleman, R. K., Rue, J. J., Reardon, D. C., "Induced Abortion."

  16. Lauzon, R., Roger-Achim, D., Achim, A., Boyer, R., "Emotional Distress Among Couples Involved in First Trimester Abortions," Canadian Family Physician, vol. 46, 2000, pp. 2033-2040.

  17. Tornbom, M., and Moller, A., "Repeat Abortion."

  18. Freeman, E., "Emotional Distress Patterns Among Women Having First or Repeat Abortions," Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 55, 1980, pp. 630-636.

  19. Barnett, W., Freudenberg, N., Wille, R., "Partnership After Induced Abortion: A Prospective Controlled Study," Archives of Sexual Behaviour, vol. 21, 1992, pp. 443-455.

  20. Bracken, M. B., and Kasi, S., "First and Repeat Abortions: A Study of Decision Making and Delay," Journal of Biosocial Science, vol. 7, 1975, pp. 473-491.

  21. Freeman, E., "Emotional Distress Patterns."

  22. Lauzon, R., Roger-Achim, D., Achim, A., Boyer, R., "Emotional Distress Among Couples."

  23. Rue, V. M., Coleman, R. K., Rue, J. J., Reardon, D. C., "Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress."

  24. Lauzon, R., Roger-Achim, D., Achim, A., Boyer, R., "Emotional Distress Among Couples."

  25. Lauzon, R., Roger-Achim, D., Achim, A., Boyer, R., "Emotional Distress Among Couples."

  26. Rue, V. M., Coleman, R. K., Rue, J. J., Reardon, D. C., "Induced Abortion."

  27. Rue, V. M., Coleman, R. K., Rue, J. J., Reardon, D. C., "Induced Abortion."

  28. Barnett, W., Freudenberg, N., Wille, R., "Partnership After Induced Abortion."

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