Identifying women in need of further discussion about the decision to have an abortion and eventual outcome

Contraception. 2013 Jul;88(1):128-32. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.10.032. Epub 2012 Dec 4.


Introduction: In order to better identify those women requesting abortion who are not certain of their decision and would like more detailed discussion, we piloted use of a self-completed validated questionnaire containing the London Measure of Unintended Pregnancy (LMUP) amongst women requesting an abortion at a hospital clinic in Scotland.

Study design: A retrospective case note review was conducted to determine the proportion for whom the pregnancy was clearly unintended (based on LMUP score), the proportion who were certain of their decision and the eventual outcome of the pregnancy.

Results: One hundred and ninety-one women with a viable pregnancy completed a questionnaire. Based on the LMUP score, the pregnancy was clearly unintended in 165 (86%) cases; 162 of these (98%) proceeded to abortion. One hundred and seventy-three women (91%) stated that they were certain of the decision to have an abortion, 167 of them (97%) proceeded to abortion, and 153 women (89%) did not want any further discussion. Thirteen women (6.8%; 95% confidence interval: 4.0-11.3) continued the pregnancy.

Conclusion: Almost all women requesting an induced abortion had a clearly unintended pregnancy, were certain of their decision and did not wish further counseling. A simple self-completed questionnaire identifies those who may benefit from further discussion. Subjecting women to compulsory counseling about their decision to have an abortion is in conflict with their wishes and wastes resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scotland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult