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Sexual Orientation & Risk of Violence in Abortion

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2018 Aug 6; Jones, et al

Patients undergoing abortion who do not identify as heterosexual may be at particular risk of physical and sexual violence, a new study found. Data for the observational study came from the Guttmacher Institute’s 2014 Abortion Patient Survey, which obtained information from 8,380 individuals obtaining abortions at nonhospital facilities in the US; 7,656 (91%) provided information on sexual orientation identify. Researchers assessed differences between heterosexuals and 3 sexual minority groups—bisexual, lesbian, and something else—according to demographic characteristics and exposure to sexual and physical violence. They found:

  • Among patients undergoing abortion in 2014, 4.1% identified as bisexual (n=316), 1.1 as something else (n=81), and 0.4% as lesbian (n=28); 94.4% identified as heterosexual (n=7,231).
  • Exposure to sexual violence was substantially and significantly higher among all 3 sexual minority groups vs heterosexuals.
  • Lesbian and bisexual respondents were more likely than their heterosexual peers to report exposure to physical violence by the man involved in the pregnancy (33.3% and 8.7% vs 3.6%).

Citation:

Jones RK, Jerman J, Charlton BM. Sexual orientation and exposure to violence among U.S. patients undergoing abortion. [Published online ahead of print August 6, 2018]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002732.

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