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The Pre- and Post-Abortion Process for Couples: A Qualitative Research Perspective

Description: This study utilized a qualitative research methodology to examine the perspectives of six subjects, three married couples, choosing abortion to terminate unwanted pregnancies. The subjects were interviewed a few days after the abortion and six weeks after the abortion for a total of 12 hours. The researcher transcribed the interviews and observer's comments written throughout the interview process. The data were qualitatively analyzed to gain an understanding of (a) the factors which contributed to the unwanted pregnancies; (b) the process by which the couples Chose abortion to terminate the unwanted pregancies, (c) factors which contributed to the decision; (d) factors surrounding the abortion procedure; and (e) factors which predisposed the couples to different kinds of post-abortion reactions. This analysis indicated that inconsistent birth control usage was but one factor in the unwanted pregnancy. decision to abort the unwanted pregnancy created relationship conflicts because each subject had different ideas and needs in regard to managing the unwanted pregnancy. Although all of the subjects expressed relief after the abortion procedure was completed, they also expressed feelings such as guilt, sadness, and a sense of loss. All of the couples in the study experienced relationship stress, and discussed relationship issues in the interviews. More concern was verbalized about the relationship than the abortion for the couples in the study. Two of the couples expressed a commitment to making personal changes to improve the marital relationship. For the married couples in this study, the decision to terminate the unwanted pregnancy and abortion mirrored the decision-making and conflict resolution process utilized by the couples in other situations.
Date: August 1990
Creator: McCray, Nancy Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries