In the ongoing struggle between pro-life and pro-choice supporters, there have been women who have voiced their regret after having an abortion. However, according to a new study, most women do not regret doing so as they are certain about their decision to have abortions.
The new study was published in the journal Contraception by researchers from Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco. It surveyed 500 women in Utah who wanted to have abortions at four different clinics across the state.
The researchers used the Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) to try to quantify the degree of certainty each woman had in their choice. This method provides a score based on the answers from a variety of questions. The lower the score is the more certain the women were in their decision to have abortions while higher scores mean that they were conflicted about it.
Researchers talked with women just before they would undertake the abortion procedure and even contacted with 63 percent of all women three weeks later. Out of all 500 surveyed women, 89 percent had an abortion and their average score was 13.5 out of 100. The other 11 percent who did not have the procedure had a score of 28.5. The overall average score was 15.5.
Because the DCS method is a standardized measure, researchers were able to determine how the abortion results compared to the certainty both men and women feel when they’re about to undergo procedures such as mastectomy, knee surgery, prostate cancer treatment and others. The results found that women who have abortions are more certain of their decision than when they’re about to have other procedures.
According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Lauren Ralph, the research contradicts the idea promoted by the conservative party that women who have abortions are conflicted about their decision. Because of this false preconception, they promoted mandatory waiting periods, additional counseling and any other way to prevent or delay as much as possible an abortion. The new study directly refutes this argument.
In the US, 27 states have mandatory 24 hours waiting periods and 14 states impose a counseling session even before the waiting period begins. However, the new study might provide pro-choice supporters the facts needed to combat the claims of the pro-life camp.
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