Abortion Stigma Theory

What do we mean by stigma? What do we mean by abortion stigma? This collection includes seminal articles and thought pieces exploring the concepts of stigma, how it operates, and how the movement for sexual and reproductive health and rights might apply a stigma lens to our efforts. Have you ever felt like you are doing all the right things for public health programming, or policy advocacy, but your progress is still blocked? Explore these resources to understand more about stigma and how it works to sharpen your stigma lens.


Abortion Stigma: A Systematic Review

A systematic literature review found that more research, using validated measures, is needed to enhance understanding of abortion stigma and thereby reduce its impact on affected individuals.


Abortion Stigma Around the World: A qualitative synthesis

A synthesis of qualitative literature that reports findings about abortion stigma paints a picture of how stigma appears in different geographic regions, and across the different levels of the ecological model.


Benevolent sexism, attitudes toward motherhood, and reproductive rights: A multi-study longitudinal examination of abortion attitudes

Although Benevolent Sexism (BS)—an ideology that highly reveres women who conform to traditional gender roles—is cloaked in a superficially positive tone, being placed upon a pedestal is inherently restrictive.


Abortion Stigma and Quality of Care: A framework for analysis and synthesis

Based on themes from an inroads-member discussion, this proposed framework integrates concepts of stigma with the WHO framework for quality care.


Abortion and its Multiple Contexts

Video and accompanying slides detailing how abortion is conceptualized across many frameworks and levels in the ecological model.


Abortion Stigma: What is it and how does it affect women’s health?

Video lecture offers an overview of abortion stigma and how it impacts women's health.


A Learning Agenda for Abortion Stigma: Recommendations from the Bellagio Expert Group Meeting

Article presents a refined conceptual framework for abortion stigma and proposes a learning agenda to guide research and programmatic efforts to address abortion stigma.


Introduction: Bringing Abortion Stigma into Focus

Introduction to a special issue on abortion stigma in the journal Women and Health.


Reducing stigma in reproductive health

Article discussing the manifestation and consequences of stigma in reproductive health.


Stigma: Advances in Theory and Research

Article presents a theoretical overview of stigma and a taxonomy of four types of stigma (public, self, by association, and structural).


Correlates of perceived and internalized stigma among abortion patients in the USA: An exploration by race and Hispanic ethnicity

Article describing rates of internalized stigma in the USA; comparison by race/Hispanic ethnicity.


Abortion stigma: A reconceptualization of constituents, causes, and consequences

Article discussing abortion stigma, drawing from social science literature to describe groups affected by abortion stigma.


Stigma in abortion care: Application to a grounded theory study

Article presents an application of stigma theory to nurses attending abortions.


Conceptualising abortion stigma

Article conceptualizing abortion stigma roots, manifestations and impacts. Lays out a research agenda to measure and map abortion stigma and impact on health.


Abortion as stigma: cognitive and emotional implications of concealment

Observational study examining abortion stigma and the psychological implications of concealment.


Abortion as a stigma: in the eyes of the beholder

investigation of social perceptions of abortion. Findings suggest shifting attention from characteristics of the stigmatized to observers' characteristics to understand stigmatization process.