n South African Medical Journal - Of ambivalence, shame and guilt : perceptions regarding termination of pregnancy among South African women : editorial




Termination of pregnancy (TOP) for health or other reasons is an emotive and contentious issue, steeped in the context of a political, moral and religious climate. For most women, the decision to have a TOP is not easy, regardless of the reason. While early literature supported the notion that that there is little in the way of negative sequelae following TOP, more recent long-term studies have suggested that negative sequelae may be more common than was previously thought. Risk factors for the development of negative sequelae include the attitude projected by those providing the procedure (negative attitudes of providers tend to promote emotional sequelae in women undergoing TOP), previous psychological/psychiatric history (associated with higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression following TOP), and low income (with women from low-income groups having higher admission rates for depression and PTSD after TOP).


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