Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

By Paul Sachdev | Go to book overview

9
Epilogue

NOW WHAT WAS I SAYING?

The study shows that although abortions have been legally available in Canada, only a few (13 percent) of the women sampled used abortion as a primary method of contraception. Most women considered abortion when other alternatives to an unwanted parenthood did not appear viable. The study also reveals that first- trimester abortion did not affect most women adversely and that almost all of them had assimilated the abortion experience by six months to one year after the procedure. A few women (10 percent) who suffered severe psychological reactions of guilt and depression were not impaired, and their symptoms eventually began to dissipate. The abortion effects were largely influenced by the women's identification with the pregnancy, moral and religious views of abortion, difficulty in deciding about termination, the degree of support from key people (such as the male partner or parents), and their ability to cope with life stresses. These findings are supported by recent reviews of previous scientific studies on abortion (see chapter 1). In point of fact, the psychological responses to abortion are far less serious than those experienced by women bringing their unwanted pregnancy to term and relinquishing the child for adoption. In my study of seventy-eight birth mothers selected randomly from a social agency in a Canadian province, 95 percent reported grief and loss after they signed their consent to adoption and two-thirds (67.7 percent) continued to experience these feelings five to fifteen years

-217-

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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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