Couples Counseling at an Abortion Clinic: A Pilot Study

Stan Becker, Johns Hopkins University
Eva Bazant, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Carole Meyers, Planned Parenthood of Maryland, Inc.
Raquel Samson, Planned Parenthood of Maryland, Inc.

Approximately half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended. Non-use, incorrect, or inconsistent use of contraception may be related to limited support of male partners. Partners often accompany women having abortions, representing an opportunity for health providers to engage them. This pilot study estimates the proportion of abortion patients accompanied by a male partner and the proportion agreeing to couples counseling and describes couples’ experiences with it. At a Baltimore clinic, after preliminary qualitative research, we recorded the number of patients who came with partners and accepted couples counseling in a three-month period, and sought feedback on the counseling in 66 questionnaires from women, partners and the counselor. Overall, 27% of patients came with their male partner. Among all couples, 42% accepted couples counseling. Aspects of counseling that patients appreciated were having the partner’s support, having an informed partner with whom to communicate, and being able to share decision-making.

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Presented in Poster Session 2