June 1972

Characterization of 100 Women Psychiatrically Evaluated for Therapeutic Abortion

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn
From the departments of psychiatry, medicine, and obstetrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(6):571-577. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750240083013

This study reviews the emotional response of 22 of 100 women voluntarily undergoing therapeutic abortion. One hundred women completed a pre-abortion questionnaire concerning their reasons for, expectations of, and knowledge of abortion. This group was also evaluated by a psychiatrist. Twenty-two patients participating in the follow-up study evaluated their experience through questionnaire and interview. Personal history, emotional response (grief, sadness, relief, elation), willingness to go through an abortion again, and evaluation of treatment were reviewed. On the basis of this information, a composite description of a typical patient in each of four categories was made: single nulliparous, single multiparous, married multiparous, and divorced or separated multiparous. Two subgroups are identified in the postabortion sample: those willing to have an abortion again and those unwilling to repeat the experience.