Women's experiences in connection with induced abortion – a feminist perspective

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Abstract

Although abortions are common, few researchers have explored the experiences of women related to abortions. The aim of this qualitative study was to analyse women's experiences of induced abortion from a feminist perspective. Five women aged 19–33 years were interviewed about 1 month after their abortion. The interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis from which the following themes were identified: experiences connected with the decision-making process, experiences connected with the abortion and experiences after the abortion. Childhood experiences of divided families, financial problems, being too young, and an insecure partnership influenced the women's decision to have an abortion. Ambivalence about abortion was strongly expressed throughout the process. Despite positive attitudes towards abortion in general, the women had negative attitudes towards their own abortion. They described receiving most support from their mothers and friends, in the decision-making process, and least from their partners. After the abortion the women gained a feeling of maturity and experience although their ambivalence persisted. One conclusion drawn from our study is that nurses and midwives need to be aware of women's complex experiences with abortions in order to support and empower women who seek an abortion.

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