262977 Development of the abortion provider's stigma sale

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Lisa Martin, PhD , Women's and Gender Studies Program/Health Policy Studies Program, University of Michigan, Dearborn, Dearborn, MI
Michelle Debbink , Department of Health Management & Policy and Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Meghan Eagen-Torkko, CNM, MN , School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Emily Youatt, MPH , Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Jane Hassinger, MSW, LCSW , Women's Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Lisa Harris, MD, PhD , Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Introduction: Abortion stigma is prolific in US society. Few studies have investigated its impact on abortion providers. We designed a new measure of abortion stigma to assess how abortion stigma is perceived and experienced by providers. Methods: We created the Abortion Provider's Stigma Scale (ABSS), a 15-item rating response scale. Reliability analyses were assessed at a family planning clinic (N=14). Factor analysis and descriptive statistics were conducted using a sample of abortion providers participating in the Providers' Share Workshop (N=65). All analyses were completed using Stata SE/12.0 (Statacorp, 2012). Results: The ABSS demonstrated good reliability, with internal consistency of alpha=0.81 and excellent test–retest reliability, r=0.94. Abortion stigma was salient in provider's lives, with over 65% worrying and avoiding disclosure of their work at least some of the time, and 89% feeling unappreciated by society. Almost 50% of workers reported personal experiences of verbal or physical violence. At the same time, workers felt they were making a positive contribution to society (92%) and took great pride in the work (98%). Exploratory factor analysis using the varimax orthogonal procedure resulted in a 3-factor solution that explained 92% of the variance. Factor one, discrimination; factor two, stigma management; factor three, an inverse relationship between the media's stigmatizing of abortion and provider's serving as an outlet for patient's emotional frustration. Discussion: Abortion stigma marginalizes abortion workers, requiring providers to actively engage in stigma management. We hypothesize that abortion workers' high levels of pride may work to alleviate the negative effects of abortion stigma.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the ways abortion providers experience abortion stigma in the professional and personal lives. Evaluate the psychometric properties of a new measure of abortion stigma, designed for abortion providers.

Keywords: Abortion, Reproductive Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-investigator on projects related to abortion stigma for the past 5 years. Among my research interests are the development of interventions to alleviate the psychosocial burdens associated with working in abortion care services and the elimination and reduction of abortion stigma.
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.