Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women


Sachdev provides a detailed examination of the psychological impact of abortion on women. Based on in-depth interviews with a sample of unmarried women aged 18 to 25, the study records quantitative and qualitative information related to the sexual and contraceptive practices of these women, their reactions upon becoming pregnant, the factors that prompted them to seek abortions, and their feelings after having the procedure. While other studies have underscored the negative psychological consequences of abortion, Sachdev emphasizes that abortion is generally a positive experience with few adverse psychological consequences. Throughout, the actual statements from the women are used to highlight relevant points.


"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 . . .

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