Most women do not regret having an abortion, study finds
95% of women believe they made right decision to have abortion
Five-year study surveyed 667 women across 21 states
Mon 13 Jan 2020
An overwhelming majority of women who get an abortion do not regret the decision to undergo the procedure, according to a new study published in the academic journal Social Science & Medicine on Sunday.
Researchers surveyed 667 women across 21 states in the US multiple times over a five-year period, tracking each woman’s emotions around their decision to get an abortion. About 95% of women indicated they believe that going through an abortion was the right decision over the course of the study.
Do women feel guilt after having an abortion? No, mainly relief
Most women don’t regret their decision to have a termination – and that outlook could help us protect reproductive rights
Mon 13 Jan 2020
Women know themselves! Shock! Women can make the right decisions about their own bodies. Isn’t that amazing? Though I and most of my friends who have had abortions know this, I guess that’s just anecdata. You can’t trust women when they tell you that the main feeling was relief and that they didn’t really want a load of counselling about adoption or to wait another few weeks.
Still, a study conducted over five years across 21 states in the US has found that this is true. Of all the emotions that women were asked about – including sadness, guilt, regret, anger and happiness – it was relief that was the main one expressed.
What difference does a law make?
Unsafe abortion – responsible for some 18% of all maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa – is one of the most neglected sexual and reproductive health problems in the world today. A new collection in International Journal for Equity in Health aims to shed light on the articulation between the legal, political, social, and cultural conditions that work to enhance or hinder access to safe abortion services.
Marte E. S. Haaland
19 Dec 2019
Worldwide, as many as 19-20 million women resort to unsafe abortions every year. Many of these result in complications that cause considerable damage and even death, making abortion a key issue of women’s health and gender equity. Nevertheless, abortion remains a contentious issue among global health actors, and is often neglected and overlooked. When abortion is addressed, it is commonly discussed in terms of legalization or criminalization, and liberal abortion laws are often understood as synonymous to easy access to abortion services. A recently published collection in the International Journal for Equity in Health scrutinizes this assumption and asks the question: What difference does an abortion law really make for girls’ and women’s access to safe abortion services?
Unproven, Unethical and Dangerous: Counseling Requirements on Stopping a Medication Abortion Threaten Patients and Providers
Olivia Cappello, Guttmacher Institute
December 16, 2019
Patients obtaining a medication abortion from a health care provider expect to have a conversation about the pills they need to take for the procedure, a treatment that has been proven safe over 20 years of use and is more than 95% effective. Their provider will tell them about expected side effects and potential complications, which are similar to those of a miscarriage.
But in an increasing number of states, their provider is forced to tell them about medication abortion “reversal”—an unproven and medically unsupported treatment that can allegedly stop a medication abortion after the patient takes the first pill in the abortion regimen, mifepristone. This counseling is mandated under the guise of providing patients with options. In reality, it uses flawed research to undermine personal reproductive health choices.
USA – Research on claims of “abortion pill reversal” stopped early
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Dec 10, 2019
by Marge Berer
Amongst the seemingly endless anti-abortion efforts to destroy the provision of safe, legal abortion in the USA, has been an unproven claim that it is possible to reverse the abortifacient effects of mifepristone by taking progesterone. As the editor of this newsletter, I decided against reporting this up to now because the only “evidence” put forward (by a handful of anti-abortion doctors in the USA) was and has remained too thin to draw any conclusions from it, based literally on a handful of cases and without a control group. Unfortunately, the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care published the study in December 2017, giving it a veneer of scientific respectability that it did not deserve. Some anti-abortion politicians in the USA, who weren’t apparently concerned about the lack of evidence, put laws through the national legislatures of eight US states requiring doctors to offer “abortion pill reversal” to any woman who had taken mifepristone, but not yet taken the misoprostol 24 hours later (if she changed her mind). I wrote a comment criticising the article, which was published in April 2018: Response to “Progesterone for preventing pregnancy termination after initiation of medical abortion with mifepristone”: what’s the real point here? Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care 2018 Apr;23 (2):169. The original article was not removed but “corrected”.
Contraceptive Knowledge in the Mid-19th-Century United States
December 5, 2019
Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Donna J. Drucker, MLS, PhD, Senior Advisor, English as the Language of Instruction at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. Here, Dr. Drucker explores the changing availability of knowledge about contraception.
What do pennyroyal, fish skins, horse riding, and ergot of rye have in common? They are all contraceptive methods that have been used for centuries. In preliterate societies, information on regulating pregnancy was likely passed down orally from one generation of women to the next as they helped each other with pregnancies, births, and child spacing. In the mid-nineteenth-century US, however, more and more women were literate and information was more securely captured in print. Examining three mid-nineteenth century medical guides, available online and searchable in the NLM Digital Collections, shows the range of information available to those who could access and read books.
RCOG launches “Better for Women” report
UK women facing widespread barriers to essential healthcare services
29 November 2019
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is calling for better joined up services, as part of its “Better for Women” report, published today. It emphasises the need for national strategies to meet the needs of girls and women across their life course – from adolescence, to the middle years and later life.
There should also be greater focus on moving the UK away from providing a disease intervention service towards a preventative health service, says the report.
There is no link between abortion and women taking their own lives, study finds
Data from over 520,000 women showed no positive correlation
Nov 22, 2019
Having an abortion does not increase women’s risk of suicide, a new study has found.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, links between abortion and suicide have been used by legislatures to push for stricter abortion law.
For example, US state South Dakota, has a provision within its abortion law that states physicians must warn women seeking terminations - in writing - about an increased risk of suicide if they go ahead with the procedure.
Most states protect doctors who refuse to do abortions because of religion
Linda Carroll, Reuters
November 19, 2019
(Reuters Health) – The vast majority of U.S. states have passed laws blocking civil lawsuits that might result from a doctor refusing to perform an abortion or certain other medical procedures because of religious beliefs, a new study shows.
The national survey found that 46 states had laws protecting medical professionals and institutions from being sued for harm to patients related to a refusal to provide services out of conscience, researchers report in JAMA.
Crisis pregnancy centers' endanger adolescent health, doctors say
November 7, 2019
(Reuters Health) – “Crisis pregnancy centers” look and act like healthcare clinics but fail to meet medical and ethical standards, often using biased and inaccurate information to persuade women not to pursue an abortion, say two national doctors’ groups.
The “misinformation” these centers offer typically includes limited options for the next steps of pregnancy and unscientific sexual and reproductive health explanations, according to a joint statement by the Society for Adolescent Health and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.