The place of abortion in the pregnancy decision-making process in young adult women in Catalonia, Spain

Laia Ferrer Serret, Montserrat Solsona Pairó

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2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness Induced abortion is one option to control fertility in Spain. Young adult women (25–34 years old) show a different abortion pattern compared to women in other age groups, being less likely to seek abortions than younger women and having one of the lowest proportions of unintended pregnancies. We aimed to analyse the factors involved in the pregnancy decision-making process to better understand why young adult women seek abortions in Catalonia, Spain. In-depth semi-structured interviews with 25 nulliparous pregnant young adult women and one focus group discussion with healthcare providers were conducted in 2008/2010. We found that inconsistent contraceptive use prior to an unintended pregnancy was due to ambivalence and weighing of priorities during sex. The quality of the relationship was paramount to the abortion decision whereas other reasons (financial/employment status, fulfilling aspirations, support networks) were less important. We conclude that the motivations for the abortion decision are interrelated and based on the current life stage of women and that there is pressure on young adult women in Spain to become mothers. Induced abortion is perceived as the last resort to postpone motherhood. Our findings reinforce the unequal societal burden placed on women to take responsibility for prevention of unintended pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1103
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • abortion
  • contraception
  • decisions/decision-making
  • qualitative methods
  • sexual health
  • women's health


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