Beyond abortion : personal narratives of coping, support and experiences of abortion services [article]

Nikki Anne Evans, University Of Canterbury
Mainstream psychological research suggests that few women experience significant negative responses following abortion. It is suggested that negative responses occur as part of complex life choice issues. In addition, previous research findings indicate that younger women report requiring more information and cope less well post-abortion than older women. The study Beyond abortion: Personal narratives of coping, support and experiences of abortion services documents through loosely structured
more » ... terviews the experiences of thirteen women who have had an abortion at Lyndhurst Hospital, Christchurch. The purpose for documenting the women's accounts of their experience(s) was to explore their feelings regarding the abortion and the abortion services available to them in New Zealand. The narrative content revealed several themes that included: (1) the impact of no or poor support from the birth father during the decision making process affecting the amount of "choice" "vomen perceived they had1 (2) the possible effect of lack of accurate information regarding pain during the operation on perceptions of high pain levels, (3) the different preferences for means of pregnancy termination regarding surgical versus RU486, and general versus local anaesthetic, (4) employment of idiosyncratic strategies by the women to resolve the experience of abortion and (5) acknowledgement that the abortion was the right decision. The experiences of the participants in this study suggest that social attitudes towards abortion are still predominantly negative, and are particularly affected by religious beliefs. An analysis of narrative articulation, consistent with feminist post-structuralism, revealed the continuing effect of patriarchal discourses on women's perceptions of personal responsibility regarding contraceptive failure, choosing not to reproduce and perceptions of bodily self-determination
doi:10.26021/11772 fatcat:nwekrxsuxrh2nlmzlxxq43ftaq