Social Work Abortion
Gretchen E. Ely
  • LAST REVIEWED: 01 April 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 September 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0212


Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, which includes deliberate termination and spontaneous termination, also referred to as “miscarriage.” The term “abortion” is typically associated with the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, usually occurring before twenty-eight weeks of gestation. The two types of deliberate abortions are surgical and medical. Surgical abortion involves using medical instruments to empty the uterus of the products of conception. In a medical abortion, medication is used to force the ending of the pregnancy. Abortions are categorized as either therapeutic or elective. Therapeutic abortion occurs when the termination is necessary for health reasons; elective abortion occurs when a pregnancy is ended by choice. The estimated rate of abortion worldwide in 2008 was twenty-eight per one thousand women, and nearly half of abortions performed are considered unsafe, with 98 percent of those unsafe procedures taking place in developing nations. Legal surgical abortion is one of the safest and most widely performed medical procedures available, yet it is heavily regulated worldwide because of tremendous religious, political, and personal disagreement regarding its ethical and moral acceptability. Thirty-two countries restrict abortion under any circumstances, thirty-six countries permit abortion only in extenuating circumstances (i.e., rape, incest), fifty-nine additional countries allow abortion in cases in which the woman’s health or mental health is at risk, and seventy countries allow some type of elective abortion. All nations allowing elective abortion impose gestational time limits on the procedure. The International Federation of Social Work, the National Association of Social Workers of the United States, and others support elective abortion as a necessary part of overall access to safe and affordable reproductive health care and family planning services. The commitment of social work to abortion access can be attributed to the profession’s stated ethical commitment to a client’s right to self-determination. Other groups, such as the International Right to Life Federation and the Catholic Church, oppose access to abortion based on their interpretation of religious beliefs and values.

General Overviews

The citations in this section provide overviews of the global status of abortion. The Guttmacher Institute 2012 offers a review of abortion worldwide including a discussion of abortion policy. Grimes and Creinin 2004 provides a medically based review of induced abortion that offers readability even for those outside the medical field. The issue brief prepared in Kessler, et al. 2005 delves into the overall demographics of abortion and directly addresses many of the sociopolitical controversies that surround abortion. Singh, et al. 2009 produced a comprehensive review of the progress and setbacks regarding abortion in recent history, which was an update to a previous report from the Guttmacher Institute. Sedgh, et al. 2012 provides an outline of worldwide incidence and trend information from 1995 to 2008. Denisov, et al. 2012 discusses abortion trends specific to Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, whereas Norman 2012 examines abortion trends in Canada, and the overview from Pazol, et al. 2012 focuses on medical abortion in the United States.

Health Issues

Access to abortion is an important component of women’s reproductive health worldwide. Repressive abortion policy creates an international public health crisis that contributes to death and injury from unsafe abortion and results in forced pregnancy. Full and complete access to safe and legal abortion is necessary for women to achieve control over their own reproductive health. Specific topics related to the area of abortion and health are discussed further in this article.

Public Health Effects

This section provides information on the relationship between access to legal abortion and the effects on public health. The Guttmacher Institute 2012 provides a fact sheet that addresses trends and incidences of abortion worldwide. Creinin 2012 discusses how abortion itself does not pose a public health risk, yet it is restricted in a way that suggests otherwise. Henshaw 2009 details the public health effects of abortion and unintended pregnancy in the United States. Jones and Weitz 2009 discusses laws that affect second-trimester abortions and the public health impacts of such. Malarcher, et al. 2010 examines equity in pregnancy resolution in a chapter from a report for the World Health Organization. In an early but influential work Meier and McFarlane 1994, the authors examine the possibility that infant low birthweights and infant mortality could be influenced by greater investment in abortion and family planning for Medicaid recipients. Herrera and Zivy 2002 examines the health effects on women seeking abortions in clandestine environments.

Unsafe Abortion

The citations in this section provide information about unsafe abortion, which contributes to death and injury to women worldwide. Åhman, et al. 2007 is the 5th edition of a global review of unsafe abortions from a public health perspective, which provides readers with a comprehensive scope of the problem. Haddad and Nour 2009 discusses unsafe abortion in terms of maternal mortality. Singh 2010 provides a comprehensive review of the overall consequences experienced by women and families when access to abortion is unreasonably restricted or unsafe. Barriers to safe abortion are categorized in Jackson, et al. 2011. Rasch 2011 offers an overview of unsafe abortion and the resulting needs for postabortion care, with particular attention to developing nations. Vasquez, et al. 2012 describes a study about unsafe abortion from the perspective of health care providers. Mirembe, et al. 2010 provides an article analyzing and categorizing the global goals for preventing unsafe abortion, whereas Shaw 2010 discusses a strategy for globally addressing unsafe abortion in terms of the goals set by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in this area. This discussion can be combined with the work of Mirembe, et al. 2010 that outlines the efforts needed to combat the effects of restricted and unsafe abortion worldwide.

Partner Violence

This section provides information about the relationship between abortion and partner violence. In a comprehensive discussion of the problem, Saftlas, et al. 2010 outlines the prevalence of partner violence in a sample of patients seeking abortion. Silverman, et al. 2010 discusses the involvement of violent partners in the abortion decision, whereas Williams and Brackley 2009 discusses how partner violence plays a role in women’s abortion decisions. Roth, et al. 2011 discusses the relationship between partner violence and the likelihood of seeking an abortion and of having a previous history of abortion. Coleman, et al. 2009 suggests that recent abortion was associated with physical partner violence, whereas Ely and Otis 2011 suggests that emotional partner violence is associated with seeking multiple abortions. Alio, et al. 2011 examines the relationship between partner violence and abortion specific to Cameroon, whereas Silverman, et al. 2007 examines partner violence, abortion, and other issues specific to women in Bangladesh.

Mental Health

The citations in this section offer readers a sense of the state of the available literature in terms of mental health and abortion, which begins to point to a low risk of psychological problems associated with abortion. This information, however, continues to be scrutinized, and the resulting controversy is also touched on here. Cohen 2006 produced a report for the Guttmacher Institute that addresses the common mental health myths associated with abortion. Long-term mental health outcomes and abortion were studied in Charles, et al. 2008 and Fergusson, et al. 2008. Research published since 1989 related to mental health and abortion was reviewed in Major, et al. 2008 for an American Psychological Association Task Force report, resulting in a statement indicating that an elective first-trimester abortion is not associated with significant psychological risk. Conversely, Coleman 2011 examines the current research from 1995 to 2009, concluding that abortion may pose a greater risk to psychological health than previously concluded. However, the conclusions posited in Coleman 2011 are challenged in Robinson, et al. 2009 and Littell and Coyne 2012 which dispute these conclusions on the grounds of significant methodological flaws. Cameron 2010 offers a review of psychological factors and abortion that includes a discussion of coping.

Moral and Ethical Issues

This section provides information on works that specifically address the ethical and moral controversy surrounding abortion. Kaczor 2011 brings a comprehensive, thoughtful, and modern approach to presenting the ethical and moral debate surrounding abortion in various topic areas. Veazy and Signer 2011 examines the notion that access to abortion is socially just and that abortion access is an important moral value for positively affecting women’s lives. Jones and Chaloner 2007 offers an examination of the ethics and controversy of abortion from a medically based perspective. Phillips, et al. 2010 reviews abortion coverage and the ethics of health care reform in the United States. Adams 2011 outlines a perspective on the ethics of requiring professionals, including social workers, to participate in referrals or services related to abortion that may be in contrast with their personal conscience. Marquis 2013 argues that abortion is wrong, whereas Borgmann 2009 argues that the concept of human life is misrepresented in the modern abortion debate. Norris, et al. 2011 discusses the stigma surrounding abortion and how it affects those associated.

Religious Perspectives

This section outlines the relationship between, and controversy surrounding, abortion and religion and religious beliefs. Adamczyk 2008 discusses how religiosity affects abortion attitudes, which then influence abortion policy. Adamczyk 2009 also discusses how religious beliefs influence abortion behavior. In terms of how the religiosity of professionals affects abortion services, Ely, et al. 2012 examines the perceived ability of social work students to provide abortion referrals in light of possible conflicting religious beliefs, whereas Silva, et al. 2009 discusses how religiosity affects doctors’ attitudes toward providing abortion. Strayhorn and Strayhorn 2009 discusses the teen birthrate in the United States with specific attention to the relationship between primarily Christian religiosity and abortion. In a review of Jewish law as it pertains to women’s health, Weisberg and Kern 2009 provides a section that discusses the parameters in which abortion is acceptable for Jewish women, Damian 2010 examines abortion in the Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, and Erfani and McQuillan 2008 examines the relationship between religious beliefs and illegal abortion in Iran, a primarily Muslim nation.

Genetic Testing

This section examines the rise in the availability of prenatal genetic testing and the relationship to abortion. The definitive work in the area is an early article Asch 1999 that thoroughly considers the practice and policy challenges present in prenatal genetic testing when selective abortion is an option. Rebouché and Rothenberg 2012 examines the expanding ability of prenatal genetic testing in light of the expanding legal restrictions on abortion, whereas Wilson, et al. 2011 discusses how views of abortion influence rates of seeking prenatal genetic testing. Kon 2009 argues that prenatal genetic testing is beneficial and should be made available to all families, even in cases in which abortion is not a legal option. Batzli 2010 and Bell and Stoneman 2000 present arguments suggesting that prenatal testing leads to a negative attitude toward life with disability and thus promotes selective abortion in a negative manner. De Jong, et al. 2009 explores how the increasing availability of prenatal genetic testing presents increasing problems with informed consent. Rimon-Zarfaty and Raz 2010 outlines medical and public attitudes toward genetic testing and selective abortion in cases of minor fetal abnormalities.

Sex-Selective Abortions

This section examines the controversial practice of sex-selective abortions. Because a preference for sons exists in certain cultures and a preference for a child of a certain gender exists in other cultures, this has increased the use of sex-selective abortion practices as the ability to determine fetal gender has advanced. Rogers, et al. 2007 argues in their work that sex-selective abortion is morally unjust and should be banned. The practice of sex-selection via abortion is more acceptable in certain cultures, and Abrejo, et al. 2009; Bélanger and Oanh 2009; Chun and Das Gupta 2009; Meena, et al. 2007; and Sharma, et al. 2007 discuss the availability of prenatal sex determination tests and the effects of sex-selective abortion on gender imbalance in Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, South Korea, and Vietnam. An appropriate complement to these articles is Lamichhane, et al. 2011 that explores sex-selective abortion from the perspective of health care providers. In an attempt to present strategies that may have an impact on the problem, Vogel 2012 discusses possible legal and educational approaches.


This section features work focused on the varying global legislation regulating abortion. In a comprehensive review on the subject, Boland and Katzive 2008 investigates government websites to determine the status of laws regulating induced abortion from 1997 to 2008. Ashford, et al. 2012 examines varying legislation and the effects of liberalizing abortion laws on women’s health outcomes in six underdeveloped geographic areas. Martin 2009, Morhee and Morhee 2006, Hessini 2007, and Kulczycki 2011 offer comparisons between legal problems experienced in both developing and developed nations having either restrictive and more liberal abortion laws, specifically Spain, Great Britain, and Ghana, along with countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as twenty-one predominantly Muslim nations. Medoff 2010 examines the relationship among poverty, abortion policy, and welfare reform in the United States. Moving from an overview of legislation to an examination of the effects of abortion law from the perspective of those affected, Cockrill and Weitz 2010 conducted a study of women’s attitudes toward abortion legislation.

Parental Consent Laws

This section focuses specifically on parental consent laws and underage women seeking abortion services, which mainly applies to the United States. Dennis, et al. 2009 reviews the literature in the area of parental consent laws to offer a comprehensive resource on the topic. Haas-Wilson 1993 discusses the economic impact of parental consent laws in relation to abortion rates. Coles, et al. 2010 examines how restrictive abortion laws affect teen birthrates. Kavanagh, et al. 2012 discusses parental consent laws from the perspective of adolescents seeking abortion services, whereas Coleman and Joyce 2009 discusses how adolescents who are nearing their eighteenth birthdays may postpone abortion to the second or even third trimester in order to avoid parental consent laws. Manian 2012 discusses the dysfunctional nature of parental consent laws and offers strategies for reform. Sen, et al. 2012 examines the relationship between restrictive abortion laws and child homicide, indicating a 13 percent increase in child homicide rates in states with parental consent laws. The National Abortion Federation of the United States (NAF) has produced a fact sheet on teenage abortion with a section that discusses parental consent laws, indicating that such laws may increase negative family communication and increase health risks for teens.

Fetal Personhood Laws

This section specifically addresses legal and political efforts directed toward eliminating access to abortion by establishing the fetus as a person with full legal and constitutional rights, which are also known as “fetal personhood laws.” Most information available in this area focuses on the United States. In one of the first research efforts in this area, Schroedel 2000 offers an extensive look at fetal personhood policy across all fifty US states. In a more recent work, Schroedel 2011 discusses religious perspectives on fetal personhood, fetal abuse laws, and the conflict between fetal rights and women’s rights. Norris, et al. 2011 discusses the stigmatization of abortion, indicating that attributing personhood status to the fetus is a contributor to abortion stigma. From a more activist perspective, Collins and Crockin 2012 discusses strategies for opposing the establishment of personhood laws, which include coordinating activism strategies and working to shift public perceptions in this area. From the position of opposing abortion, Warren 2009–2010 argues that the emerging concepts of fetal personhood render the Roe v. Wade decision unconstitutional. In terms of the concept of fetal personhood outside the United States, Sekaleshfar 2009 discusses the two pivotal concepts of Shiah Islam that most affect perspectives on abortion: personhood and ensoulment, whereas Rimon-Zarfaty, et al. 2011 examines the concept of fetal personhood from a Jewish perspective, suggesting that the Israeli fetus gains its personhood gradually.

Health Legislation

This section discusses health and health reform legislation and the relationship to abortion and abortion policy. Sifris 2010 provides an overview of how restrictive abortion legislation impedes the right to health worldwide. Whelan 2010 discusses how abortion rates might be affected when policies of universal health care are adopted, suggesting that universal health care is associated with a decrease in abortion rates. Bendavid, et al. 2011 examines how the funding restrictions that are imposed on nongovernmental organizations by the United States affects abortion safety and access in sub-Saharan Africa. Cohen 2010 examines insurance coverage of abortion in the United States, and Dennis, et al. 2011 discusses strategies to gain funding for abortion through Medicaid even in light of the Hyde Amendment, which is the policy in the US that prohibits public funding of abortion. Benson, et al. 2011 provides information about how health reform efforts affect unsafe abortion rates and maternal mortality in Romania, South Africa, and Bangladesh, whereas Beck, et al. 2012 examines health reform efforts and the effects on abortion in Mongolia. Wheeler, et al. 2012 discusses medical students and their knowledge of pregnancy termination laws in South Africa.

Abortion Activism

This section specifically addresses how policy and law is affected by the efforts of activism and activists. In a definitive work in this area, Klugman 2008 discusses the Johannesburg Initiative, a research effort that examined abortion activism around the world. Fried 2013 examines abortion activism in the United States during the time since its relegalization via Roe v. Wade in 1973. Gee 2011 discusses how the antiabortion movement’s activism has resulted in an unprecedented increase in legal restrictions on abortion in the United States, whereas Rose 2011 examines how the antiabortion movement is adding pro-woman rhetoric to its message in order to increase support for its cause. Young 2009 examines the abortion activism efforts of George Tiller, a US abortion physician and activist who was murdered while at church by an antiabortion extremist. Aksel, et al. 2013 examines how antiabortion activism has intimidated medical students in the United States, resulting in a shortage of medical providers with the skills and willingness to perform the procedure. Kulczycki 2011 discusses the increase in abortion activism in Latin America even in light of religious objection to abortion. European abortion policy is examined in Finney 2010 which discusses the similarities between Roe v. Wade in the United States and A., B. and C. v. Ireland in terms of the implications of the Ireland case for the rest of the Council of Europe members.

Motherhood and Abortion

This section provides information about the relationship between motherhood and abortion. The definitive resource in this area is Lee 2003, which outlines a thorough discussion about the interplay between abortion and mental health for mothers. Jones, et al. 2007 discusses how concepts of motherhood play into the decision to have an abortion.

  • Jones, Rachel K., Lori F. Frohwirth, and Ann M. Moore. 2007. I would want to give my child, like, everything in the world: How issues of motherhood influence women who have abortions. Journal of Family Issues 29.1: 79–99.

    DOI: 10.1177/0192513X07305753Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study indicates that motherhood is cited as a reason for choosing abortion in many cases. This is useful for social workers who are developing practice strategies for women and families who are considering or have chosen abortion. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Lee, Ellie. 2003. Abortion, motherhood, and mental health: Medicalizing reproduction in the United States and Great Britain. Hawthorne, NY: de Gruyter.

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    This book outlines the intersection of motherhood and abortion in these developed nations and discusses the contributions of the pro and con movements to the reproductive health of women in these areas.

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Adolescents, Young Women, and Abortion

The works in this section outline the issues associated with abortion specifically for adolescents and younger women. In their review, Shah and Åhman 2012 have synthesized information about the burden of unsafe abortion, indicating that young women in developing nations are most acutely affected. Adler, et al. 2003 offers a comprehensive discussion of abortion among adolescents with particular focus on the emotional and physical safety of the procedure and the potential negative impact of parental consent laws. Davis and Beasley 2009 examines the safety of abortion for adolescents, the psychological and health effects associated with abortion, and the barriers and burdens experienced by adolescents trying to access abortion. Coles, et al. 2010 examines restrictive abortion laws in relation to adolescent birth outcomes. Stotland 2011 offers a comprehensive review of the existing literature related to the mental health effects of adolescent abortion. Ely and Dulmus 2010 discusses disparities in access to reproductive health care for adolescent women, offering a section on abortion and a discussion of the problem from a social work perspective. Moreau, et al. 2012 discusses the abortion experiences specific to adolescent women in France, whereas Hung 2010 provides a discussion of the abortion experience of young women specific to Hong Kong.

Vulnerable Women and Abortion

This section explores abortion and vulnerable women, including women of color, immigrant women, women with disability, incarcerated women, women in rural areas, and women of lower socioeconomic status, among others. Ely and Dulmus 2010 discusses, from a social work perspective, how abortion policy in the United States creates a two-tiered system resulting in various groups of vulnerable women having reduced access to abortion. In a discussion of recent changes in US abortion rates, Jones and Kavanaugh 2011 indicates that rates are highest for women of lower socioeconomic status and African American women, among others. Cohen 2008 discusses abortion specifically related to women of color. Topics include rates of abortion for African American women and Latinas, disparities in abortion rates for women of color, and the reasons for these disparities. Price 2010 explores how women of color are attempting to address such disparities by reshaping abortion activism in the United States. McCaman 2013 explores rights to abortion for women with disabilities, whereas Kasdan 2009 discusses abortion rights for incarcerated women. Rasch 2008 examines how immigrant women with lower socioeconomic status have greater rates of induced abortion in Denmark and the implications of such.

Social Work

This section provides information on the relationship between the profession of social work and issues related to abortion. Early on, Chilman 1988 outlined the history of the abortion controversy from a social work perspective. Bernadi, et al. 2012 offers an overview of public opinion trends broken down into three areas, which are presented in relation to social work advocacy strategies. Ely, et al. 2012 presents a study outlining social work students’ attitudes toward abortion and students’ perceptions of their abilities to make abortion referrals. In her dissertation, Ball 2010 examines attitudes toward abortion in social work and associated health and mental health disciplines. Ely and Dulmus 2010 discuss how abortion policy in the United States has the most negative impact on vulnerable women and calls on the social work profession to respond to this crisis. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW 2012) provides information on the social work perspective on abortion in the chapter on family planning and reproductive choice, indicating support for a full range of family planning services that includes safe and legal access to abortion. The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) policy statement on women indicates that access to the full range of reproductive health services (which would include abortion) is essential, although international support for such is not always a priority. Taken along with the NASW policy statements, the IFSW policy statement on women presents a picture of concern by those in the field of social work for abortion rights in view of the professional commitment to both social justice and the right to self-determination.

  • Ball, Mary J. 2010. The abortion attitudes of counselor, social work, and nursing trainees. PhD diss., Western Michigan Univ.

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    This work details the attitudes of health professionals toward various aspects of abortion. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Bernadi, Brooke, Deana Boughter, Samantha Brown, et al. 2012. Abortion, partial-birth abortion, and adolescent access to abortion: An overview for social workers. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 22.8: 947–959.

    DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2012.664504Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This review presents a summary of public opinion in three abortion-related areas, indicating that recent efforts to limit abortion in the United States do not coincide with the majority public opinion. Opportunities for social work advocacy are outlined. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Chilman, Catherine S. 1988. The background of the present abortion controversy. Affilia 3.2: 41–54.

    DOI: 10.1177/088610998800300205Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This dated but useful early work lays out the abortion controversy from a historical social work perspective. Important for social workers wishing to understand the historical development of the moral and ethical concerns in this area. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Ely, Gretchen E., and Catherine N. Dulmus. 2010. Abortion policy and vulnerable women in the United States: A call for social work policy practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 20.5: 658–671.

    DOI: 10.1080/10911351003749177Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors outline abortion policy in the United States and discuss how it creates a two-tiered system of access to abortion services, with middle-class and higher-income women benefiting while vulnerable groups of women often experience forced pregnancy. The need for social work policy practice in this area is emphasized. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Ely, Gretchen E., Chris Flaherty, L. Shevawn Akers, and Tara Bonistall Noland. 2012. Social work student attitudes toward the social work perspective on abortion. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics 9.2: 34–45.

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    This article outlines a study of student attitudes toward abortion in various areas, including perceptions of ability to make referrals for abortion when it is requested.

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  • International Federation of Social Workers. 2012. Women.

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    This policy statement provides information about the issues affecting women from an international social work perspective. This resource is essential for professionals who wish to gain comprehensive knowledge to assist with practice strategies and policy advocacy in this area.

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  • NASW. 2012. Family planning and reproductive choice. In Social work speaks: National Association of Social Workers policy statements, 2012–2014. 9th ed. By NASW, 127–133. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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    This chapter outlines the NASW perspective on family planning, which includes legal access to abortion. The economic benefits for women and children in terms of being able to dictate the number and spacing of births are also discussed.

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Abortion Counseling

This section provides information on counseling related to abortion. Medoff 2009 discusses the biased abortion counseling laws that have arisen in the United States in an attempt to dissuade women from seeking abortions; it also examines whether these efforts have an effect on abortion rates. Moving from laws toward actual counseling approaches, Upadhyay, et al. 2010 discusses a study that applies evidence-based counseling strategies that are already used in other sensitive health care areas to abortion counseling. Ely, et al. 2010 offers one of the first works on patients’ satisfaction with their abortion counseling experience, whereas Moore, et al. 2011 discusses women’s perceptions of their abortion counseling needs in the United States, even in light of the mandatory counseling laws that are in place in many states. Beja and Leal 2010 discusses abortion counseling from the perspective of health care providers in Portugal. Ceylan, et al. 2009 and Ferreira, et al. 2009 offer studies of the usefulness and effectiveness of postabortion contraceptive counseling, whereas Falk, et al. 2009 discusses postabortion contraceptive counseling specifically with adolescents.

  • Beja, Vanda, and Isabel Leal. 2010. Abortion counselling according to healthcare providers: A qualitative study in the Lisbon metropolitan area, Portugal. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Healthcare 15.5: 326–355.

    DOI: 10.3109/13625187.2010.513213Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This work outlines interviews with sixteen health care providers in Portugal related to their perspectives on abortion counseling, concluding that abortion counseling has benefits but certain elements are required for it to be effective. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Ceylan, Ali, Meliksah Ertem, Gunay Saka, and Nurten Akdeniz. 2009. Post abortion family planning counseling as a tool to increase contraception use. BMC Public Health 15.9: 20.

    DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-20Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This work indicates that postabortion contraceptive counseling conducted in Turkey greatly increased contraceptive use.

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  • Ely, Gretchen E., Catherine N. Dulmus, and L. Shevawn Akers. 2010. An examination of levels of patient satisfaction with their abortion counseling experience: A social work practice evaluation. Best Practices in Mental Health 6.2: 103–114.

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    This study examines satisfaction with preabortion counseling from the perspective of patients and offers recommendations for creating positive counseling settings.

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  • Falk, Gabriella, Jan Brynhildsen, and Ann Britt Ivarsson. 2009. Contraceptive counseling to teenagers at abortion visits: A qualitative content analysis. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 14.5: 357–364.

    DOI: 10.3109/13625180903171815Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This work is an analysis of medical records examined to determine if postabortion contraceptive counseling was used with teens seeking abortion. The results suggest that medical records lacked documentation of family planning counseling, and the authors emphasize the importance of such counseling. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Ferreira, Ana Laura Carneiro Gomes, Andréa Lemos, José Natal Figueiroa, and Ariani Impieri de Souza. 2009. Effectiveness of contraceptive counseling of women following an abortion: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Healthcare 14.1: 1–9.

    DOI: 10.1080/13625180802549970Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This review examines existing literature to determine the effectiveness of postabortion family planning counseling, indicating that the evidence does not suggest that the counseling makes a difference in postabortion contraceptive use in developed nations. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Medoff, Marshall H. 2009. Biased abortion counseling laws and abortion demand. Social Science Journal 46.4: 632–643.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.soscij.2009.05.001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This discussion of the content required in state-mandated counseling includes information about what is required and whether such information affects abortion rates. This work is important for those seeking to develop practice strategies in view of these counseling laws, as well as those seeking to advocate for policy reform. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Moore, Ann M., Lori Frohwirth, and Nakeisha Blades. 2011. What women want from abortion counseling in the United States: A qualitative study of abortion patients in 2008. Social Work in Health Care 50.6: 424–442.

    DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2011.575538Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors in this study examine the responses of forty-nine women concerning their expectations for abortion counseling. Results suggest that women should be allowed to specify their own counseling needs, rather than have their needs dictated by policy or protocol. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Upadhyay, Ushma D., Kate Cockrill, and Lori R. Freedman. 2010. Informing abortion counseling: An examination of evidence-based practices used in emotional care for other stigmatized and sensitive health issues. Patient Education and Counseling 81.3: 415–421.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.08.026Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors of this article discuss sensitive health issues and effective evidence-based counseling practices and their potential for effectiveness in the area of abortion counseling. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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