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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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1
UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. fosterd@obgyn.ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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

STUDY DESIGN:

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

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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.

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