Experience of clandestine use of medical abortion among university students in Chile: a qualitative study
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Objectives: To explore the ways in which medical abortion pills are obtained and used by university students in Chile in a clandestine context. Study design: Using a qualitative approach, we conducted in-depth interviews with 30 young women who had had a medical abortion between 2006 and 2016 while attending university. We recorded the details of their pathways to abortion and their experience of abortion, and how they used networks in the university to find the pills and learn how to use them. The interviews were analyzed using narrative content analysis. Results: The findings show that medical abortion did not take place completely outside the healthcare system for these students, who accessed ultrasound scans pre- and post-abortion and post-abortion care. However, even with help and support from contacts, partners and friends, the clandestine situation created uncertainty and fear, which dominated the whole process, from finding and purchasing the pills, to uncertainty about correct doses and whether the abortion was going as it should and was complete or not. There was a high perception that failure and complications might be occurring, which led many of them to seek post-abortion care. The process was very demanding, requiring information, time, privacy to have the abortion, support and resources, and the ability to deal with risk. Conclusions: Medical abortion allowed these young women to have safe abortions in terms of reduced risks to health and autonomy through self-management. However, clandestinity made them physically, socially and emotionally vulnerable and exposed them to the risk of normative, violent judgments during post-abortion care.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemContraception, 97 (2018): 100–107
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