Tuesday, May 06, 2014

UK Study Examines Women and 2nd Trimester Abortions in Scotland

This study examined the situations of 23 Scottish women who could not get abortion after 16 weeks LMP in their own region. The authors use the phrase "late-term abortion" for 2nd trimester abortion, but a few occurred after 20 weeks:

Our data suggest that two key reasons why assertion of candidacy for pregnancy or abortion is delayed are that typical signs of pregnancy are absent and that pregnancy was not expected.


Another significant source of delay was changed life circumstances after the pregnancy was confirmed.[26, 27] For several women who were no longer in the same relationship when the pregnancy was discovered, the absence of the partner or his unsuitability as a parent was a factor in the decision to have an abortion, as was the rejection of ties with him. Together, later recognition of pregnancy and the need to give women time to consider their options highlight why the provision of accessible later abortion services is an ongoing necessity. Moreover, women's formulation of candidacy for abortion or motherhood is shaped not just by individual circumstances or in relation to significant others, but also by prevailing social norms. That most of the women we interviewed identified as candidates for later abortion despite the difficulties they faced in obtaining one speaks to the strength of norms relating to “appropriate” childbearing (i.e., who should have a child and when), as much as to the reproductive choices available to them.

Five women decided not to terminate:

Five participants had decided to continue their pregnancy, primarily because of gestational age and the social support available to them. On discovering that their pregnancies were more advanced than expected, most felt that abortion was not a viable option. Some had considered termination because they already had a child younger than one and worried about coping with two young children. In contrast, Holly—our eldest participant, who continued her pregnancy—felt that at 39, this might be her “only chance” to have a child, and that while she was not in a relationship with the man with whom she had conceived, she had the support of friends:

“[My friend] said, ‘You can't terminate. We all have kids, so you better have that kid.’ … If maybe I was on my own, maybe I could have considered a termination, yeah. If I didn't have, like, anyone to talk to or maybe I didn't trust my friends.”

In part because Holly's peer group strongly favored her continuing the pregnancy, her ambivalence dissipated, and between the medical confirmation of her pregnancy and her clinic appointment, she decided against an abortion. Hence, the combination of later gestational age and reassurances of support from significant others led some women to reject their candidacy for abortion.

But if a Crisis Pregnancy Centre does the same thing, they're evil.