What is Post-Abortion Syndrome?

Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) is a type of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It occurs when a woman is unable to work through her emotional responses due to the trauma of an abortion.

Why does abortion cause distress?

Woman are often surprised to find that abortion can be a traumatic experience. Generally, women are not encouraged to share their responses to the abortion. Often it is kept a secret and a woman is left alone with her feelings. The grief a woman may experience after an abortion is seldom recognized and is often repressed or denied. Post-Abortion Syndrome occurs when the grieving process is not completed. Our society is just now beginning to recognize the need to grieve a miscarriage, but because abortion is considered a voluntary act, a women’s grief after an abortion is not understood or supported.

When do the symptoms of PAS occur?

Some women experience PAS symptoms within months of the abortion. For others, the crisis occurs two to five years after the abortion — at the time the normal grieving process would have been completed. Sometimes women don’t experience PAS symptoms for 10, 20, or 30 years because they are unable to deal with the deep emotions caused by the abortion.

What are common symptoms of Post-Abortion Syndrome?


  • Anxiety
  • Regret / Guilt
  • Sadness / Sorrow
  • Feelings of loss
  • Repeat abortions
  • Desire for secrecy about abortion
  • Emotional pain



  • Nightmares
  • Anger / Rage
  • Suicidal impulses
  • Self destructive behavior
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Inability to sustain an intimate relationship


How can a woman recover from PAS?

A woman who is experiencing PAS needs to complete the natural grieving process. This can be done in individual counseling, group therapy, or in a resident counseling center.

Who can I contact for help?

Project Rachel
Safe Haven
The Elliot Institute
Silent No More Awareness

Help with Drug/Alcohol Addiction

Addiction and Pregnancy
Addiction and PTSD