Author(s): Wiebe ER, Trouton KJ, Fielding SL, Grant H, Henderson A
OBJECTIVE: To examine the differences in anxiety levels and attitudes towards abortion between women having an early medical abortion and women having a surgical (manual vacuum aspiration) abortion. METHODS: Women who presented for an early medical abortion or a surgical abortion at an urban, free-standing abortion clinic were invited to participate in this study. Fifty-nine women having a medical abortion and 43 women having a surgical abortion answered questionnaires before their scheduled abortion, and again 2 to 4 weeks after the abortion. Thirty women were interviewed about their answers. RESULTS: Anxiety levels were similar in both groups before the abortion procedure. Anti-choice views about abortion were seen in 60.5% of women having a medical abortion and in 37.3% of women having a surgical abortion (P = .027). Women who were pro-choice had a mean anxiety score of 5.0 (range, 0-10) before and 2.7 after the abortion, whereas women who were anti-choice had a mean anxiety score of 5.2 before and 4.4 after the abortion (P = .005). CONCLUSION: It is important for providers of abortion care to understand that women undergoing a medical abortion may be more ambivalent about abortion than women undergoing a surgical abortion, and women who are anti-choice but having an abortion may have unresolved anxiety after the procedure.