|How women feel about their abortions varies.|
Sometimes the pro-life side underscores the negative mental and emotional impacts for post-abortive women. Pro-choice advocates often reject such claims and instead suggest women frequently feel relief after an abortion.
Other times the pro-choice side claims most women don’t even want abortions, but feel they have no choice due to their circumstances; some pro-choicers insist women feel terrible about needing an abortion in the first place. Pro-life activists will respond with skepticism, pointing to pro-abortion (distinct from “pro-choice”) apologetics saying abortion is “like getting a filling at the dentist.”
Arguments about the emotional effects of abortion rage on, but even if we achieved consensus, it’s not clear to me how that would change things one way or another. From the pro-choice perspective, it should be legal for a woman to obtain an abortion even if it will emotionally scar her. From a pro-life perspective, it should be illegal to kill the fetus even if the woman feels relieved after her abortion.
It’s important to understand the effects of abortion for the purposes of informing abortion-minded women and determining optimal processes for women obtaining abortions. However, as far as the legality of abortion, do emotional effects matter?