National Retrospective Study of Abortion Experiences & Mental Health
Using online survey collection methods, a national retrospective study of abortion experiences and mental health is being conducted. With over 200 survey items developed specifically for this project, as well as 6 established measures of mental health, the researchers are conducting an in-depth study of how personal and interpersonal experiences surrounding abortion decisions are associated with post-abortion mental health. Among the many specific correlates explored are the following: 1) wantedness/emotional involvement in the pregnancy; 2) understanding of the abortion procedure; 3) emotions at the time of the abortion decision; 4) situational pressure to abort; 5) lack of support to carry to term; 6) pressure from partner to abort; 7) pressure from parent(s) or other family members to abort. A second survey included in this study is designed to assess pregnancy decision-making, birth experiences, and post-partum psychological adjustment among women who came close to choosing abortion but opted against the procedure. By including this second group of women, the current study will be incorporating an ideal comparison group to more fully understand women's psychological adjustment to abortion.