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Contraception. 2013 Jan;87(1):81-7. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Effect of abortion protesters on women's emotional response to abortion.

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UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA 94612, USA.



Little is known about women's experiences with and reactions to protesters and how protesters affect women's emotional responses to abortion.


We interviewed 956 women seeking abortion between 2008 and 2010 at 30 U.S. abortion care facilities and informants from 27 of these facilities.


Most facilities reported a regular protester presence; one third identified protesters as aggressive towards patients. Nearly half (46%) of women interviewed saw protesters; of those, 25% reported being "a little" upset, and 16% reported being "quite a lot" or "extremely" upset. Women who had difficulty deciding to abort had higher odds of reporting being upset by protesters. In multivariable models, exposure to protesters was not associated with differences in emotions 1 week after the abortion.


Protesters do upset some women seeking abortion services. However, exposure to protesters does not seem to have an effect on women's emotions about the abortion 1 week later.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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