In the United States, the social myth that abortion clinics are unsafe, lonely places is pervasive. Little research has investigated the extent to which women's negative experiences of clinic interactions and processes confirm or contest this myth.
Semistructured interviews with 41 women who received an abortion at a clinic were conducted and analyzed using qualitative analytical techniques in Atlas 5.0.
The processes and structures of the abortion clinic necessitated by the realities of antiabortion hostilities lead some women to react negatively to the clinic experience in ways consistent with the social myth of the abortion clinic. Staff interactions can mitigate or alleviate these experiences.
Clinic workers and administrators should be aware that safety structures and processes may create negative experiences for some women. Policymakers should be aware of the extent to which public policies and conflict over abortion render the social myth of the clinic a reality.
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Published online: August 11, 2011
Accepted: May 27, 2011
Received in revised form: May 21, 2011
Received: July 22, 2010
© 2012 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.