185567 Influence of partner characteristics and partner perceptions on women's reproductive choices

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:30 PM

Farzana Kapadia, PhD , The Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Stanley K. Henshaw, PhD , The Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Cecily Stokes-Prindle, BS , The Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Lawrence B. Finer, PhD , The Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Background: In addition to men's general attitudes and overall relationship characteristics, little is known about the partner- and relationship-specific characteristics that are related to a woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy. The proposed study examined male partner characteristics and perceptions of partner suitability as a long-term partner and parent among women seeking an abortion.

Methods: Data from 434 women, who completed a brief, self-administered survey when presenting for abortion services at a New York City-based abortion facility, were examined to understand their partner's characteristics and perceptions of suitability as a parent.

Results: In this sample of abortion-seeking women (mean age 25 yrs; 58% African American, 31% Latina/hispanic, 10% White), preliminary results indicate that significant proportions of women reported that their male partners were unable or unwilling to provide financial support (21%) for future children, lacked interest (13%) or experience (11%) with raising or caring for children. Approximately 12% of women reported experiencing intimate partner violence. In addition, 25% of women cited a partner's lack of emotional readiness and 8% reported financial insecurity as reducing confidence in the prospect of long term stability in their present relationship.

Discussion: These preliminary findings suggest that the decision to seek an abortion is not limited to a woman's own professional or personal goals but also takes into account her partner's ability and willingness to be a supportive parent and partner.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to list partner characteristics of woman seeking an abortion. 2. Participants will be able to identify which partner specific qualities are most important to a woman's decision to seek an abortion.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have expertise in this area of research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.