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Abortion patients’ perspectives on receiving contraceptive services during abortion care

Megan Kavanaugh, Guttmacher Institute, 2009
See also executive summary and publication in Contraception.

Project abstract

Abortion patients, by definition, represent a population at high risk for additional unintended pregnancies and abortions: among women having abortions in the US in 2002, about one-half had already had a prior abortion.

Abortion patients continue to have difficulty using contraceptive methods consistently and effectively. Improving providers’ efforts to provide contraceptive services during abortion care may represent one avenue by which patients’ difficulties can be addressed, but little improvement will be seen if abortion patients are not able, or do not want, to receive these services in the manner that they are offered. A mismatch in priorities for avoiding subsequent unintended pregnancies and abortions between abortion patients and providers may result in continued high rates of both of these outcomes. In addition, patients’ concerns regarding using contraception effectively post-abortion may not be reflected in the contraceptive services currently being provided during abortion care. Research is needed to document the need and desire for contraceptive services during abortion care from the perspective of abortion patients.

This small grant proposal is for SFP funding to support a one-year, cross-sectional research study to build on an existing Guttmacher Institute study of abortion providers regarding post-abortion contraception. Structured surveys querying women on their attitudes towards receiving contraceptive services during abortion care will be administered to patients in abortion care facilities, and supplementary information will be collected from women who have had abortions through an online survey. Additional questions regarding type and quality of contraceptive services received during abortion care will be included in the exploratory, online surveys.

Providing evidence regarding patients’ attitudes towards the integration of these two services will strengthen current research and policy efforts focused on this issue and highlight difficulties faced by abortion patients in effectively and consistently using contraception post-abortion to prevent subsequent unintended pregnancies and abortions.


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