Title

Social stigma and disclosure about induced abortion: Results from an exploratory study

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

It is well recognised that unsafe abortions have significant implications for women's physical health; however, women's perceptions and experiences with abortion-related stigma and disclosure about abortion are not well understood. This paper examines the presence and intensity of abortion stigma in five countries, and seeks to understand how stigma is perceived and experienced by women who terminate an unintended pregnancy and how this influences their subsequent disclosure behaviours. The paper is based upon focus groups and semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with women and men in Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and the United States (USA) in 2006. The stigma of abortion was perceived similarly in both legally liberal and restrictive settings although it was more evident in countries where abortion is highly restricted. Personal accounts of experienced stigma were limited, although participants cited numerous social consequences of having an abortion. Abortion-related stigma played an important role in disclosure of individual abortion behaviour.

DOI

10.1080/17441692.2011.594072

Language

English

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