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    We explored how physicians conceptualize their role in contraceptive counseling at the time of abortion, including identifying clinician attitudes that may lead to patients' perceptions of contraceptive coercion. We conducted individual semi-structured interviews using questions based on components of the Theory of Planned Behavior. We recruited physician abortion providers using purposeful sampling to attain diversity in practice setting and geographic practice region. We analyzed transcribed interviews using initial and values coding methods. We interviewed 39 participants across the United States, who primarily self-reported as White female obstetrician gynecologists (OB/GYNs) aged 25 to 44. Over half of participants practiced in an academic setting. Participants perceived providing patient education and taking a patient-centered approach as part of their role in contraceptive counseling. Participants also believed it was their responsibility to prevent unintended pregnancies and subsequent abortions among their patients. External motivations behind this belief included wanting patients to avoid the challenges of obtaining another abortion, particularly in states with multiple abortion restrictions. Internal motivations included valuing professional goal attainment, discomfort with abortion, and abortion stigma. When physicians counseled about contraception, many expressed preferences toward methods of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and an emphasis on contraception provision for adolescents and women with prior abortions. Physicians providing abortions strive to use a patient-centered approach to contraceptive counseling. However, many continue to be motivated by the goal of avoiding a subsequent abortion which patients may perceive as coercion towards contraceptive uptake. Considering contraceptive counseling as a means to prevent subsequent abortion may lead to coercive practices, especially with specific patient populations. Moral codes and abortion stigma influence physicians' counseling practices and physicians must examine their personal values and motivations behind recommending contraception after an abortion. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Rachel Cannon, Katharine White, Britta Seifert, Elisabeth Woodhams, Kristyn Brandi, Leanne Yinusa-Nyahkoon. Exploring the physician's role in contraceptive counseling at the time of abortion in the US. Contraception. 2021 May;103(5):316-321

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    PMID: 33545128

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