Trajectories to Abortion and Abortion-Related Care: A Conceptual Framework

Alison Norris, Ohio State University
Ernestina E. Coast, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Emily Freeman, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

This paper presents a conceptual framework which captures the macro- and micro-level contexts and processes of a woman's pathway to terminating her pregnancy or seeking abortion-related care. Abortion decision-making and the trajectories that lead to it are the result of complex and inter-related factors (eg: politics, legality, service access, control of reproduction, morals/stigma). Research on abortion tends to focus on aspects of the complexity. The purpose of this framework is to identify and specify the most salient aspects of abortion decision-making across populations. The framework has global applicability, across legal contexts and safety spectra. It can be applied at all points in the reproductive lifespan and to all individual circumstances. Social scientists as well as policy and programme planners can use the framework to highlight aspects of the macro/micro environment that facilitate or hinder women's abilities to terminate unwanted pregnancies safely.

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Presented in Session 198: Abortion