By Sarah Whedon
Leila Hessini, MA, MPH and Kristen M. Shellenberg, PhD, MPH presented an agenda which included
The researchers described stigma as a social process and defined abortion stigma specifically as:
“A negative attribute, ascribed to women who seek to terminate a pregnancy, that ‘marks’ them as inferior to ideals of womanhood.”
The consequences of abortion stigma can be devastating, ranging from feelings of shame to death:
Abortion Stigma <-> Secrecy, silence, denial, shame, guilt <-> Delays, untrained providers, self-induction <-> Poor quality, high cost, abuse, complications, suicide, death
The research on these processes uses a questionnaire which was developed in several steps. They are using this questionnaire to explore institutional and structural abortion stigma at service delivery sites in Kenya, Uganda, Mexico, and India. They want to understand the processes of stigma so that they can develop and implement stigma reduction interventions at the health facility and community levels.
Working toward a world in which people of all identities & families of all kinds have support in all their health care needs, with a specific focus on abortion