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Community Health Nurses’ Perceptions, Knowledge, and Involvement in Abortion Services

Citation

Swenson, Ingrid Elizabeth; Swanson, Janice; & Oakley, Deborah (1994). Community Health Nurses' Perceptions, Knowledge, and Involvement in Abortion Services. Women's Health Issues, 4(4), 219-26.

Abstract

To learn more about the abortion-related experiences and value orientation of nurses, questionnaires were mailed to 1900 randomly selected community health nurses in the US; 844 (45%) responded. Although only 7% worked in settings where abortions are performed, half provide abortion counseling or referral. Their knowledge about the epidemiology of abortion in the US and recent abortion-related legislation was inadequate, and only 28.6% had received training about the clinical aspects of abortion in nursing school. Respondents' attitudes toward induced abortion were generally supportive; 82.0% believed federal funds should be provided for the procedure, 81.6% agreed women in the first trimester of pregnancy should have the right to choose abortion, and 70.3% supported abortion on demand. However, 27.8% indicated that abortion services in their communities were being negatively impacted by anti-abortion groups; only 9.7% felt that pro-choice groups were having a significant impact in their area. 56.0% reported they had been involved in some political activity relating to abortion, largely voting for a pro-abortion rights candidate or writing letters to legislators. 56.4& indicated they would vote against a candidate they otherwise supported if his or her views on abortion were unacceptable. 21.9% and 16.8% of nurses were involved with local or national Planned Parenthood; under 3% were members of anti-abortion groups. In-service training programs on the abortion issue are recommended to enable community health nurses to expand their counseling and political advocacy skills.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/1049-3867(95)90570-i

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Women's Health Issues

Author(s)

Swenson, Ingrid Elizabeth
Swanson, Janice
Oakley, Deborah

Year Published

1994

Volume Number

4

Issue Number

4

Pages

219-26

Reference ID

7