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Is counselling necessary? Making the decision to have an abortion. A qualitative interview study.

Brown, Sally


Sally Brown


Objectives To explore young women’s decision-making about having an abortion, in particular, how they reached the decision and with whom they discussed it.
Methods Qualitative study comprising semi-structured one-to-one interviews with 24 women aged between 16 and 20 who were waiting for, or had recently had, a surgical abortion. Interviews were recorded with the consent of the
interviewees, fully transcribed, and analysed using a grounded theory approach.
Results All but one of the women had been offered counselling; one could not remember. Only two had accepted the offer of counselling, most feeling that it was unnecessary. The majority of these young women had decided that they wanted an abortion before accessing health services to request one. They had discussed their decision with someone close to them and did not feel the need to have further discussions with counsellors.
Conclusions Most young women have already made the decision to have an abortion before they approach their GP or a family planning clinic to request
one. At present, counselling is voluntary in the UK. Requiring women to undergo counselling would delay the process and for most women would be an unnecessary burden, whilst also diverting resources from those women
who require counselling.


Brown, S. (2013). Is counselling necessary? Making the decision to have an abortion. A qualitative interview study. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 18, 44-48.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2016
Print ISSN 1362-5187
Electronic ISSN 1473-0782
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Pages 44-48
Keywords Abortion; counselling; young women; qualitative;
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