Guilt is common when you’re going through the experience of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Women and men often feel personal guilt for being in this situation: for making a mistake, for being out of control, for not being more thoughtful. Then add the societal guilt – from public opinion, from religion, from our families, from our culture- and many people judge themselves harshly.
The topic of guilt tends to center around the question: “Is there something getting hurt?” This is where ending the pregnancy early can make such a big difference. When I show women the actual tissue, there is often a moment of relief when they realize that the pregnancy is not formed. It is not even certain at this stage that the pregnancy is viable. Ending early pregnancy can feel more like a miscarriage than an abortion.
While guilt is common, it is often not helpful in coming to terms with a decision that needs to be made. With any mistake, or any hard decision, it’s not particularly helpful to be so hard on yourself. It’s a hard decision and it’s a time to be kind to yourself, and to have others support you.