Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

By Paul Sachdev | Go to book overview

5
Facing the Pregnancy

"Before, nothing was serious, now it was a reality."

25-year-old teacher

Every time a young unmarried woman engages in unprotected or inadequately protected sex relations, she faces the risk of pregnancy. She copes with her lurking anxiety about the possibility of conception (unless she wishes to be pregnant) through denial and magical thinking, "It won't happen to me," and approaches her next menstrual period with hope and prayer. A few days of delayed period throws her into a panic, and she is relieved as though a lucky survivor when her period comes on. Sometimes as it may appear to her the magical force or luck may not favor her and the woman finds herself "caught." Indeed, a few women become a statistical casualty because the contraceptive method failed. The woman may extend her denial mechanism for some time and not recognize the existence of her pregnancy. But she must sooner or later come to grips with the realistic issue of making a decision about the pregnancy she does not want. Faced with the desperate situation she gropes for the alternative that is socially and psychologically less costly. All the women in this study, obviously, decided in favour of termination of their pregnancy.


THE DECISION

The decision to terminate pregnancy can be an agonizing experience for some women, while others manage it with little or no noticeable emotional upheaval. A woman's experience with her

-129-

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Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Abortion in Perspective 1
  • 2 - The Abortion Experience 35
  • 3 - The Sample Women and How They Were Studied 51
  • 4 - The Women and Their Sexual and Contraceptive Dossiers 83
  • 5 - Facing the Pregnancy 129
  • 6 - Choosing Abortion 157
  • 7 - A Day in the Hospital: The Final Act 171
  • 8 - After Abortion 187
  • 9 Epilogue 217
  • Appendix A 239
  • Appendix B 267
  • Appendix C 273
  • References 277
  • Index 317
  • About the Author 322
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