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Womens Health Issues. 2010 Jan-Feb;20(1):12-9. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2009.08.005.

Abortion patients' perceptions of abortion regulation.

Author information

1
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, California 94612, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Most states regulate abortion differently than other health care services. Examples of these regulations include mandating waiting periods and the provision of state-authored information, and prohibiting private and public insurance coverage for abortion. The primary purpose of this paper is to explore abortion patients' perspectives on these regulations.

METHODS:

We recruited 20 participants from three abortion providing facilities located in two states in the U.S. South and Midwest. Using a survey and semistructured interview, we collected information about women's knowledge of abortion regulation and policy preferences. During the interviews, women weighed the pros and cons of abortion regulations. We used grounded theory analytical techniques and matrix analysis to organize and interpret the data.

RESULTS:

We discovered five themes in these women's considerations of regulation: responsibility, empathy, safe and accessible health care, privacy, and equity. Women in the study generally supported policies that they felt protected women or informed decisions. However, most women also opposed laws mandating two-day abortion appointments for women who were traveling long distances. Women tended to favor financial coverage of abortion, arguing that it could help poor women afford abortion or reduce state expenditures.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overall the study participants' opinions on abortion policy reflect key values for advocates and policy makers to consider: responsibility, empathy, safe and accessible health care, privacy, and equity. Future work should examine abortion regulations in light of these shared values. Laws that promote misinformation or prohibit accommodations of unique circumstances are not consistent the positions articulated by the subjects in our study.

PMID:
20123172
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2009.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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