Experiences of Women Receiving and Women Being Denied First and Second Trimester Abortions in the United States

Diana G. Foster, University of California, San Francisco

There is considerable controversy in the scientific literature about the physical and psychological sequelae of abortion. This paper presents preliminary results from “The Turnaway Study,” a prospective longitudinal study of women who receive an abortion and women who are denied an abortion because they present for care after a clinic’s gestational limit. Women are recruited whose gestation is in a narrow window around the gestational limits of 25 clinics across the country in which no nearby clinic serves women later in pregnancy. The Turnaway Study has currently enrolled 540 women. By the time of PAA, we will be nearing the end of our 2.5 year recruitment period. In this paper we present preliminary data on the immediate mental health, physical health and socioeconomic outcomes of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term and share some summaries of participants’ stories.

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Presented in Poster Session 2