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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


DE ZORDO, Silvia. Representations and experiences of obstetrician/gynecologists with legal and illegal abortion in two maternity-hospitals in Salvador da Bahia. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.7, pp.1745-1754. ISSN 1678-4561.

The objective of this qualitative study, carried out in two maternity-hospitals in Salvador da Bahia, was to investigate the experience and representations of health professionals, and particularly obstetricians-gynecologists, regarding legal abortion in comparison with their representations and experience with illegal abortion. A questionnaire was distributed and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 health professionals (13 obstetricians-gynecologists) in a hospital providing legal abortion (P) and with 20 health professionals (9 obstetricians-gynecologists) in another hospital that does not provide this service (F). The factors that influence the representations and experience of abortion of most obstetricians-gynecologists and explain the high rate of conscientious objection at Hospital P were: 1- the criminalization of abortion and the fear of being denounced; 2- the stigmatization of abortion by certain religious groups and by the physicians themselves; 3- training in obstetrics and the lack of good training in the epidemiology of maternal morbidity-mortality and abortion; 4- representations on gender relations. The main factors associated with liberal attitudes were: age - under 30 and over 45 years of age - experience with high maternal mortality rates due to abortion and experience with legal abortion.

Keywords : Abortion; Stigma; Conscientious objection.

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