An illusion of power: Qualitative Perspectives On Abortion Decision-Making Among Teenage Women In Sweden
2009 (English)In: Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, ISSN 1538-6341, E-ISSN 1931-2393, Vol. 41, no 3, 173-180 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
CONTEXT:Swedish law permits abortion at the request of a pregnant woman untilthe 18th week of gestation. However, the extent to which the decision istruly the woman's own is subject to debate; women are often influenced,directly or indirectly, by the attitudes of their partners, family andfriends or by social norms. METHODS: Individual in-depth interviewsabout the pregnancy and the abortion decision were conducted 3-4 weekspostabortion with 25 women aged 16-20 at different periods in 2003, 2005and 2007. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim andanalyzed using latent content analysis. RESULTS: The main reasons forunplanned pregnancy were underestimation of pregnancy risk andinconsistent contraceptive use. Pregnancy prevention was perceived asthe woman's responsibility. The abortion decision was accompanied bymixed emotions, and was seen as a natural yet difficult choice. Socialnorms and the negative attitudes of family and friends stronglyinfluenced the decision. Partners and parents were regarded as the mostimportant sources of support. After the abortion, the women feltpressured by contraceptive counselors to use highly effectivecontraceptives despite their previous negative experiences or worriesabout side effects. CONCLUSIONS: Swedish teenagers' basic right todecide whether to have an abortion may be limited by societal norms anddisapproval of teenage childbearing. Given the perception that women areresponsible for contraception, programs need to emphasize thatpregnancy prevention is a shared responsibility; greater efforts toinclude males in prevention practices are needed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 41, no 3, 173-180 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96961DOI: 10.1363/4117309ISI: 000269543000005PubMedID: 19740236OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96961DiVA: diva2:171710