Counseling and Abortion Care

  • Uta Landy


The shift from illegal to legal abortion in the United States represented a dramatic change for health care providers, the public, and individual women and their partners faced with unplanned pregnancy. Abortion, until then, bore the stigma of incompetent practitioners, and was equated with serious risks to women’s health and even life. When women first began to seek legal abortions, they brought with them the taboos and fearful expectations which are part of illegal abortion. These were quickly transferred to the new, legal abortion clinics, their physicians, and staff and accusations of profiteering and abuse were soon made. Abortion providers needed to prove their professionalism and concern for the women they served. Women needed to be educated about safe and legal abortion and needed to be reassured. It was a common notion that women could not make the abortion decision alone, that they needed professional help. The establishment of counseling as an integral part of the abortion service served these purposes. Providing information, support, and guidance by a professional counselor in conjunction with a medical service was and is an exemplary practice. Counseling has, after more than a decade of legal abortion, come to be perceived as beneficial to patients and providers.


Family Planning Unplanned Pregnancy Individual Counseling Birth Control Method Fertility Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beresford, T. Abortion counseling. In G. I. Zatuchni, J. J. Sciarra, J. J. Speidel, eds., Pregnancy Termination. Harper & Row, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. Bracken, M. B., Grossman, G., Hachamovitch, M., et al. Abortion counseling: An experimental study of three techniques. Americal Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 117:10, 1973.Google Scholar
  3. Burnell, E. M., Sworsky, W. A., Harrington, R. L. Post-abortion group therapy. American Journal of Psychiatry 129(2):220, 1972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Furstenberg, F. F. Unplanned Parenthood. The Free Press, New York, 1976.Google Scholar
  5. Hern, W. M. Abortion Practice. J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1984.Google Scholar
  6. Landy, U. Abortion counselling—A new component of medical care. In J. J. La Ferla, ed., Clinics in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 13,1. W. B. Saunders Co., London, 1986.Google Scholar
  7. Landy, U., Lewit, S. Administrative, counseling, and medical practices of National Abortion Federation facilities. Family Planning Perspectives 14:5, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Luker, K. Taking Chances: The Decision Not to Contracept. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1975.Google Scholar
  9. National Abortion Federation. Standards for Quality Care. Washington, D.C., 1984.Google Scholar
  10. Sachdev, P. Counseling single abortion patients: A research overview and practice implications. In P. Sachdev, ed., Perspectives on Abortion. The Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uta Landy
    • 1
  1. 1.San FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations