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Repeat use of contraceptive crisis services among adolescent women
  1. Jane Meyrick, BA, PhD, Head of Standards and Review
  1. Correspondence Dr Jane Meyrick, Head of Standards and Review, Health Development Agency, Trevelyan House, 30 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW, UK. Tel: 020 7222 5300, Fax: 020 7413 8900.

Abstract

“They don't get pregnant twice unless they are hopeless.”

This was one Doctor's reported assessment of women who had more than one abortion.

There is some evidence that the repeated use of pregnancy testing 'scares', emergency contraception and abortion is increasing across all women. However, there may also be an interaction between this general trend and the difficulties faced by particularly vulnerable groups of teenagers who also have higher rates of teenage parenthood. This paper aims to provide an overview of the research and international statistics in this sparsely researched area. It will draw on the author's own qualitative work with 'high risking' teenage girls, and that of other researchers, in order to attempt to reach an understanding of the mechanisms behind this increasingly common phenomenon. The indications from this work refutes the notion that these women form a special or 'hopeless' group, but point towards general problems with contraception and services common to all women that may become compounded through structural vulnerability such as deprivation.

  • crisis contraception
  • repeat abortion
  • teenage pregnancy
  • Accepted August 24, 2000.

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