263991 Receiving versus being denied an abortion and subsequent experiences of intimate partner violence

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Karuna Sridharan Chibber, DrPH , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Department of Ob/Gyn, University of California San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Diana Greene Foster, PhD , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Department of Ob/Gyn, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
The high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among women seeking abortions is well-established. However, little is known about the effect of abortion on IPV incidence. The Turnaway Study is a five-year prospective longitudinal study to understand the effect of abortion on women's lives. Women were recruited from 30 abortion clinics across the country where no clinic nearby performs procedures at a later gestation. This paper studies the effect of abortion on physical IPV (‘PIPV') by comparing women just above the gestational limit who were denied an abortion (Turnaways, n=231) to those just below the limit who received an abortion (Controls, n=452). There were no significant differences between the Turnaways and Controls at baseline: 11% reported experiencing PIPV; 61% had a relationship with the father of the pregnancy (‘FOP') (partner or husband); and 64% perceived the relationship as being good or very good. However, one year after seeking an abortion, Turnaways were more likely than Controls to have a relationship with the FOP (50% vs. 46%); significantly more likely to have experienced PIPV in the past 6 months (7% vs. 3% p <.05); and less likely to perceive the relationship as good or very good (59% vs. 62%). Findings suggest that being denied an abortion may increase women's exposure to PIPV, which, in turn, has well-established negative impacts on women's overall health and well-being. Clinic-based interventions may be needed to: (a) facilitate earlier detection of PIPV, and (b) provide support services enabling women to protect their safety and reproductive health.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the association between receiving and being denied an abortion and the quality of intimate partner relationships. 2.Explain the need for mechanisms to identify women at risk for intimate partner violence, and to provide additional support services at clinics to women who may be denied an abortion.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an assistant researcher working on this study. For the past 10 years, I have been conducting community-based research studying the intersection of gender inequities and women's reproductive and sexual health. My recent focus has been on the feasibility and characteristics of clinic-based interventions for intimate partner violence.
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.