I have blogged about the increasing legal enforcement of the Free Access to Clinic Entrance Act here. There will be an interesting presentation on the emotion impact of counselors outside abortion clinics on Oct. 23 in Washington DC at the North American Forum for Family Planning (Forum), the combined annual meeting of the Society of Family Planning (SFP) and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Medical Committee® (NMC). This is an abstract of the presentation:
EFFECT OF CLINIC PROTESTERS ON WOMEN’S EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO ABORTION
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
Barar R, Gould H, Weitz T
Objectives: Little is known about how antiabortion protesters affect women’s experience with abortion. This study seeks to understand who experiences and is upset by protesters and how protesters affect emotional response to an abortion.
Methods: Between 2008 and 2010, 725 women who received an abortion at 25 sites across the United States were interviewed 1 week after their appointment as part of the Turnaway Study.
Results: Nearly half (49%) of women saw a protester; 29% reported being spoken to, and 17% reported that protesters tried to stop them from entering the clinic. Women under age 20, African American women and Latinas were twice as likely as other women to report protesters attempting to stop them from entering a clinic. Among those who saw a protester, nearly half reported that they were not at all upset, 25% reported being a little upset, 15% were “quite a lot” or “extremely” upset. Women who had difficulty
deciding about the abortion were more likely to report being upset by protesters. In both bivariate and multivariate models, seeing, being spoken to and being stopped by protesters are not associated with differences in regret, relief, guilt, happiness, sadness or anger 1 week after their appointment.
Conclusions: Protesters do upset some women seeking abortion services. However, the effect of exposure to protesters does not seem to have an effect on emotions toward the abortion 1 week later.
Abstracts / Contraception 84 (2011) 303