Chapter 10 – Pregnancy Options

Mental health post abortion

It is normal to experience an emotional response to terminating a pregnancy. Most women report feeling a range of emotions including relief, sadness and guilt. Current evidence suggests that for a woman experiencing an unwanted pregnancy, mental health is largely unaffected whether she chooses to have an abortion or continue to birth.(30-33) A woman seeking pregnancy termination can best be supported by health services through appropriate, individualised, responsive care, including the provision of accurate information about mental health and treatment access if required.(30)

It is important to actively respond to any patients reporting ongoing distress, and referral to a psychologist or social worker may be appropriate. There is a specific Medicare item number for pregnancy support counselling relating to a pregnancy within the last 12 months, regardless of the outcome of that pregnancy.(34)

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