Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
COSTA, Rosely G.; HARDY, Ellen; OSIS, Maria José D. and FAUNDES, Aníbal. The decision to abort: the process and feelings involved. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1995, vol.11, n.1, pp. 97-105. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1995000100016.
In Brazil, induced abortion is considered a crime in the majority of cases, the result being that there is little official data on the subject. Little is known about the conditions under which abortions are induced This research was designed to shed light on the characteristics of the women who had had an abortion and to study the reasons why and conditions under which it occurred. The sample consisted of all employees (7,359) and students (2,231) in a university program in São Paulo who were mailed a self-administered survey. Accompanying the questionnaire was a letter and self-addressed stamped envelope. 27% of the employees and 42% of the students returned the questionnaires. Of these, 1,314 employees and 138 students had had at least one pregnancy. The results presented in this study show that 465 of the employees and students ar some point had thought of having an abortion. They were divided into two groups: those who had had an abortion and those who had nos. The objective was to analyze the association of some characteristics of the women with their decision to have/not have an abortion and how they felt when faced with this decisiva. The proportion of women who had had an abortion was significantly lower among married women than singles. A larger percentage of women who had talked with a friend and/or husband/partner/boyfriend had decided to have an abortion than those who had talked to a parent or had not talked to anyone. More women who said they were not prepared to raise/educate a child had had an abortion as compared to those giving other reasons. Almost half of the women undergoing an abortion said that they felt bad emotionally and physically afterwards. Among those who had not had an abortion, almost two-fifths reported that they felt good, were happy, relieved, and did not regret their decision. The conclusion drawn from the population studied was that emotional and social factors played a signicant role in the decision-making process for women considering an abortion.
Keywords : Abortion; Induced Abortion; Women Health; Social Psychology.