Existential experiences and needs related to induced abortion in a group of Swedish women: a quantitative investigation
2012 (English)In: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ISSN 0167-482X, E-ISSN 1743-8942, Vol. 33, no 2, 53-61 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objective: To investigate the prevalence of existential experiences and needs among women involved in induced abortion.
Methods: A questionnaire was used to collect information from 499 women requesting an induced abortion. A principle component analysis resulted in three components of existential experiences and needs, labelled: existential thoughts, existential practices, and humanisation of foetus. These components were analysed in relation to background data and other data from the questionnaire.
Results: Existential experiences and needs were common. Existential thoughts about life and death, meaning and morality were related to abortion experience for 61% of women. Almost 50% of women, reported a need for special acts in relation to the abortion; and, 67% of women considered the pregnancy in terms of a child. A higher degree of existential components correlated to difficulty in making the abortion decision and poor psychological wellbeing after the abortion.
Conclusion: Women’s experiences of abortion can include existential thoughts about life, death, meaning and morality, feelings of connectedness to the foetus, and the need for symbolic expression. This presents a challenge for abortion personnel, as the situation involves complex aspects beyond medical procedures and routines.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 33, no 2, 53-61 p.
abortion, psychological wellbeing, women’s health, existential question, foetus
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject Psychology of Religion
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159166DOI: 10.3109/0167482X.2012.677877ISI: 000303495100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159166DiVA: diva2:443071