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Study on Pregnancy Terminations

Why do some women decide to terminate their pregnancy? A study carried out by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Bremen has found out that disruptive, biographical experiences have a significant influence.

“We did not only look at women who terminated their pregnancy but also men, whose partner terminated their pregnancy. We then compared their data with that of women and men who recently became parents,” explains Lara Minkus from SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen. Together with Professor Sonja Drobnič, she analyzed the data from the German Family Panel (pairfam), which is a longitudinal study that researches partnership and family dynamics in Germany.

Critical Life Phases Decisive

The researchers determined that disruptive, biographical experiences have a significant effect on the decision to terminate a pregnancy.
Their results show that especially teenage pregnancies and pregnancies in persons over the age of 35 are more likely to be terminated. Additionally, people who are in school-based or vocational education, already have children, fear economic and financial insecurity, or recently ended a relationship are also more likely to undergo a pregnancy termination.
“Termination of pregnancy is one of the topics that is discussed particularly controversially. However, the empirical evidence base is comparably thin,” says Professor Sonja Drobnič. “Our study now offers empirical evidence and shows that the decision surrounding pregnancy termination is considerably shaped by individual life circumstances and their complex interconnections,” emphasizes the scientist.
Thus, for the sociologists this leads to a questioning of the premises of German termination law: “Due to the general punishability of pregnancy terminations, a mandatory consultation, and an additional waiting period prior to the termination, the law clearly restricts the decision on whether to continue with a pregnancy or terminate it.”
The study called “Abortion: Life-Course Stages and Disruptive Life Events” was published in “Zeitschrift für Soziologie.”

Further Information:

Minkus, L. & S. Drobnič (2021): Abortion: Life-Course Stages and Disruptive Life Events. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 2021; 50(3–4): 259–273.
https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsoz-2021-0018
www.uni-bremen.de/en/

 

Contact:

Lara Minkus
Research Assistant
SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57051
Email: lminkus@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Sonja Drobnič
SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66360
Email: sonja.drobnicprotect me ?!bigsss.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Consultation
Disruptive, biographical experiences have a significant effect on the decision to terminate a pregnancy.