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Unfit for purpose: a situational analysis of abortion care and gender-based violence


Mainey, L and O'Mullan, C and Reid-Searl, K, Unfit for purpose: a situational analysis of abortion care and gender-based violence, Collegian, 29 pp. 557-565. ISSN 1322-7696 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2022 Australian College of Nursing Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2022.01.003


Problem: Timely access to comprehensive abortion care is fundamental to reproductive autonomy; however, factors such as geographical location, politics, and religious influences create obstacles to this goal and may have distressing consequences for people seeking abortions in the context of gender-based violence.

Aim: To investigate the broader situational elements of the Australian healthcare environment that affect abortion care for victims of gender-based violence.

Methodology: Situational Analysis was used to conduct this study. The lead author interviewed 18 clinicians about their experiences of providing abortion care in the context of gender-based violence. Transcripts were analysed using situational maps, identifying the human and non-human elements affecting clinical care.

Findings: Participants believed that patients were "mostly uncatered for." They described a workforce unprepared to provide abortion care, generally, and gender-based violence interventions more specifically. Clinicians found that their pro-life colleagues centred their own needs, and many revealed that the workplace environments placed clinicians’ and patients’ safety at risk. ,

Discussion: While abortion is a safe and straightforward procedure, the interconnectedness of time sensitivity, stigma, shifting legal landscapes, and high rates of gender-based violence mean that it is probably more complex than the current work models plan for. A trauma-informed integrated approach that protects the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff is needed.

Conclusions: Healthcare services should implement streamlined evidence-based and trauma-informed abortion pathways that take full advantage of nurses' and midwives' skills, knowledge, and potential. As a priority, healthcare services should also introduce security measures and protocols to keep staff and patients safe.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Abortion, Induced, Critical pathways, Health services, Domestic violence, Sex offences
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health management
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health outcomes
UTAS Author:Reid-Searl, K (Professor Kerry Reid-Searl)
ID Code:153926
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2022-10-17
Last Modified:2022-11-02

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