At the recent InnerVisions Gala, keynote Benjamin Watson recommended that we “educate ourselves” about abortion so that we’re better equipped.

A fellow Iowan, Dr. Katherine Rafferty, gave our InnerVisions team of nurses an in-service a few months ago, based on some research that she had done:

One out of four women in the United States will have an abortion by age 45. While abortion rates are steadily declining in the United States, the rate of medication abortions continues to increase, with 39% of all abortions being medication abortions.

Dr. Katherine Rafferty and Charlotte Lozier Institute Researcher, Tessa Longbons, conducted one of the first studies to analyze women’s narratives after having had a medication abortion. Using relational dialectics theory, they conducted a case study of the nonpartisan website, Abortion Changes You.

Their contrapuntal analysis rendered four sites of dialectical tension found across women’s blog posts: only choice vs. other alternatives, unprepared vs. knowledgeable, relief vs. regret, and silence vs. openness. Each site of struggle characterized a different noteworthy moment within a woman’s medication abortion experience: the decision, the medication abortion process, identity after abortion, and managing the stigmatizing silence before and after the abortion.

We encourage you to educate yourself and read more about this study, and how the larger politicized discourses prevalent within the abortion debate impact the liminality of women who are contemplating a medication abortion and affect their own narrative construction about the medication abortion experience.

To review the research, visit here.

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