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Investigating women’s experiences and clinical outcomes of advanced abortion

Katrina Kimport, ANSIRH/University of California, San Francisco

Project abstract

Although rare compared to early abortion, abortion after the 24th week of pregnancy (hereafter “advanced abortion”) is tremendously important to the women who seek it. The experience of advanced abortion has also been used politically, with personal accounts of abortion for reasons of fetal abnormality invoked to garner political support for protecting access. From a research perspective, however, we know little about women’s experience of advanced abortion, including for reasons of fetal abnormality.

Historically, research has often excluded women seeking abortion for reasons of fetal abnormality, presuming these women’s experience is categorically different from that of women seeking abortion for other reasons. We do not know if this is true. n addition to the dearth of knowledge about women’s experience of advanced abortion, the clinical practices for providing this care are not well documented.

In the proposed mixed methods project, recruiting from a facility that provides abortion after the 24th week of pregnancy, we will: 1) conduct in-depth phone interviews with women one month after they obtained an abortion about their pregnancy decision-making, process of seeking care, and experience of abortion care; 2) document the clinical practices and outcomes including through staff interviews and chart review. Findings will contribute to both the clinical and social scientific literatures: results will inform understanding of a comparatively rare abortion experience, which may have applications in advocacy efforts to protect access to safe abortion in the U.S., and will advance knowledge of safe later abortion procedures, which may have global applications.

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