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Trauma-informed abortion care

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Purpose of review

People seeking reproductive care experience trauma on many levels including personal, structural, in medical care, and in barriers to care. This article reviews key aspects of a Trauma-Informed Care approach in abortion and reproductive healthcare.

Recent findings

Experiences of trauma are common and compounding, including systemic trauma, such as racism, sexism, and transphobia. Reproductive healthcare itself traumatizes and re-traumatizes. Trauma Informed Care (TIC) approach to individual abortion care includes maximize patient safety, choice, and privacy. TIC approach to systemic abortion care includes dismantling barriers to care and stigma.Summary

The experience of trauma is prevalent, often unrecognized and can be multifactorial, especially for those seeking abortion and contraception care. Reproductive care can create situations or power dynamics that reactivate a trauma experience. History of trauma influences a person's health, relationships, experience, and use of reproductive healthcare, as well as trust in reproductive health recommendations. Laws restricting access to abortion and reproductive health add another layer of trauma and disproportionately affect marginalized groups. Guidelines for Trauma Informed Abortion Care recognize the complexity of trauma in reproductive health experiences and seek to promote safety, empowerment, and healing on individual and systemic levels.

Keywords: antiracism; contraception counseling; trauma-informed abortion care; trauma-informed care

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Family Planning Services and Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2021

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