Abortion Stigma: What are we talking about?
Ipas, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
This workshop will discuss the concept of stigma and its application to abortion. The concept of stigma has been used in areas such as mental illness and sexual identity. Research and action on the topic of abortion stigma is growing with the aim of reducing stigma so that women can access safe abortion care without shame. Abortion stigma is defined as a negative attribute, ascribed to women who seek to terminate a pregnancy and anyone related to abortion that ‘marks' them as inferior. Abortion stigma, however, can also affect providers, facilities and those close to women who have had an abortion. The various levels in which abortion stigma operates will be discussed using an ecological model. A key aspect of research has been the development of the Stigmatising Attitudes, Beliefs and Actions Scale (SABAS) to measure abortion stigma at the community level. Research on stigma among abortion providers will also be presented. Programmematic strategies to reduce abortion stigma developed by Ipas and others will be shared. Finally, participants will learn more about inroads, The International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Stigma and Discrimination. The network is an online resource for information, ideas and contacts on the topic.