Role of social and informational support while deciding on pregnancy termination for medical reasons

Kornelia Zaręba, Marta Makara-Studzińska, Michał Ciebiera, Jacek Gierus, Grzegorz Jakiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Poland is a country with restrictive laws concerning abortion, which is only allowed if the mother’s life and health are in danger, in case of rape, and severe defects in the fetus. This paper specifies the forms of support expected by women considering termination from their family, people in their surroundings and professional medical personnel. Methods: Between June 2014 and May 2016 patients eligible to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons were asked to complete an anonymous survey consisting of sixty questions to determine patient profile and forms of support expected from the society, family and professional medical personnel as well as to assess informational support provided. Results: Women do not take into consideration society’s opinion on pregnancy termination (95%). The majority of the respondents think that financial support from the state is not sufficient to provide for sick children (81%). Despite claiming to have a medium standard of life (75%), nearly half of the respondents (45%) say that they do not have the financial resources to take care of a sick child. The women have informed their partner (97%) and closest family members (82%) and a low percentage have informed friends (32%). Nearly one third (31%) have not talked to the attending gynecologist about their decision. Conclusions: The decision to terminate a pregnancy is made by mature women with a stable life situation—supported by their partner and close family. They do not expect systemic support, as they believe it is marginal, and only seek emotional support from their closest family. They appreciate support provided by professional medical personnel if it is personal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2854
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortion
  • Fetal defects
  • Medical community
  • Medical information
  • Pregnancy termination
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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