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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

Maternal & Public HealthChemical Abortion Health Communication

#AbortionChangesYou: A Case Study to Understand the Communicative Tensions in Women’s Medication Abortion Narratives

Abstract

One out of four women in the United States will have an abortion by age 45. While abortion rates are steadily declining in the United States, the rate of medication abortions continues to increase, with 39% of all abortions being medication abortions. Our study is one of the first to analyze women’s narratives after having had a medication abortion. Using relational dialectics theory, we conducted a case study of the nonpartisan website, Abortion Changes You. Our contrapuntal analysis rendered four sites of dialectical tension found across women’s blog posts: only choice vs. other alternatives, unprepared vs. knowledgeable, relief vs. regret, and silence vs. openness. Each site of struggle characterized a different noteworthy moment within a woman’s medication abortion experience: the decision, the medication abortion process, identity after abortion, and managing the stigmatizing silence before and after the abortion. We discuss theoretical and practical implications about how the larger politicized discourses prevalent within the abortion debate impact the liminality of women who are contemplating a medication abortion and affect their own narrative construction about the medication abortion experience.

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