Pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: ambivalence at the heart of women’s experience

Lafarge, Caroline ORCID:, Rosman, Sophia and Ville, Isabelle (2019) Pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: ambivalence at the heart of women’s experience. Women's Studies International Forum, 74. pp. 42-51. ISSN 0277-5395

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The aim of this article is to demonstrate the centrality of ambivalence in women’s experience of pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality (TFA). Data were collected from two qualitative studies conducted in England and France with women who had undergone TFA (n = 44). The findings point to eight manifestations of ambivalence throughout the process of TFA: hope and despair, a choice but no choice, standing still and rushing, bonding and detaching, trauma and peace, disclosure and secrecy, bridging past and future, and individual and societal experience. Women’s ambivalence illustrates their internal struggle to reconcile the act of termination with their desire to become mothers. It also reflects societal tensions regarding abortion and disability. We argue that the absence of normative responses, social desirability bias and the potentially confusing coexistence of the fields of prenatal diagnosis and social integration of people with disability account for the ambivalence women feel as they go though TFA. As women’s ambivalence may impact upon the way they adjust to TFA, it is important to remain cognisant of the complexity of TFA to support women appropriately.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1016/j.wsif.2019.02.007
Additional Information: This project was partly funded by Partenariat Institutions - Citoyens pour la Recherche et l’Innovation” (PICRI), local Authority Région Ile de France, France (13020600)
Keywords: termination of pregnancy, fetal abnormality, qualitative, ambivalence,
Subjects: Psychology
Depositing User: Caroline Lafarge
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 12:01
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:59


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