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Exploring the impact of stigma among abortion services leaders

Marji Gold, MD, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Project abstract

The stigmatization of the abortion-providing workforce has been linked with significant human resource challenges, as work conditions worsen due to threatening political climates and increased fear of violence. In addition, many abortion providers are nearing retirement while new trainees are increasingly “willing and unable” to secure employment.

This project will contribute to the developing literature on stigma and the abortion-providing workforce. Prior work has emphasized the experiences of direct-service providers. However, there is reason to believe that stigma and burnout are also experienced by leaders and administrators in abortion care. This study aims to generate an analysis of how stigma impacts the systems in which abortion providers work by exploring the experiences and observations of key administrators of abortion clinics and how their clinical sites are affected by stigma.

The proposed research is a mixed-method study, using in-depth qualitative interviews as well as two quantitative scales to measure stigma exposure and quality of professional life. Using a convenience sampling method, we will recruit 30 directors of abortion services from around the United States.

The insight gained from this study will benefit the abortion-providing workforce on multiple levels, particularly through the identification of best practices for managing the negative impact of stigma on organizational systems, procedures, and processes, in addition to the creation of recommendations for how to evaluate abortion-providing organizations and increase resilience.


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