University of Illinois at Chicago
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Abortion Providers' Experiences with Stigmatization in Different Work Roles, Clinics and Clinic Types

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posted on 2017-10-31, 00:00 authored by Molly K Murphy
Abortion providers are vulnerable to stigmatization and harassment because of their work. This stigmatization ultimately impacts the availability of abortion care overall. A recent quantitative study demonstrated that stigma is experienced differently by abortion providers in freestanding clinics than by those in hospital-based clinics, but qualitative inquiry is required to illuminate the specific processes and resources that impact providers’ experiences of stigma in different contexts. This study explored the meaning of abortion provision work to providers, how providers experience and manage stigmatization of their work, and how these experiences and stigma management strategies differ for providers in various work roles, clinics and clinic settings. Ashforth and Kreiner’s theory of “Dirty Work”, which seeks to explain how stigmatized workers maintain positive work role identities, was the conceptual framework for this inquiry. The mixed methods study design featured qualitative observation of clinic settings, in-depth interviews with providers, and quantitative surveys of abortion providers’ experiences of work-related stigma. The study sample included abortion providers (n=31) from two freestanding and two hospital-based clinics that provide surgical abortions. Findings from the study illustrate the aspects of abortion provision stigma that affect all providers, as well as those that are unique to specific work roles, clinics and clinic settings. This detailed understanding of contextual influences on abortion provision stigma will facilitate supporting providers in the ways that are relevant for the contexts in which they work.



Peacock, Nadine


Peacock, Nadine


Public Health Sciences-Community Health Sciences

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Handler, Arden Kennelly, Joan Haider, Sadia Kottke, Melissa

Submitted date

August 2017

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