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The significance of social factors in choice of legal abortion. A social-medical study of 531 women applying for abortion and 285 pregnant control patients



The significance of social factors in choice of legal abortion. A social-medical study of 531 women applying for abortion and 285 pregnant control patients



Ugeskrift for Laeger 140(30): 1835-1841



Sociomedical factors were compared for a group for 531 women seeking abortion and 285 pregnant women, in order to give a differentiated picture of the social conditions which may motivate a woman to seek abortion and the stress which bearing a child can cause. Married women tended to want to carry the pregnancy to term in all age groups. Among the abortion seekers there was a significant overrepresentation of unskilled workers and students. The abortion frequency increased with the number of children. Each woman was classified according to whether her situation was characterized by a chronic social stress, an imminent social stress, or no social stress. The group designated by imminent social stress was significantly predominated by single women, the other two by married women. This group also had a significantly higher representation of students and unskilled workers. (p .0005) The chronic social stress group more often lived in apartments and had more children living at home. Among the abortion seekers, those with chronic situations most often gave as a reason for applying for abortion that they had enough children, that they were alone or had marital problems. Among the imminent stress group the reasons most often given were that the woman was too young or still pursuing her education. Among the group with no social stress, the most frequent reasons for seeking abortion were that the woman was too old or had enough children. It was concluded that bearing a child would cause actual social stress among ca. 50% of the women studied.

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Accession: 041755400

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PMID: 695047


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