Lived Experiences of Adolescents Undergoing Legal Abortion in a Province of Thailand

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Lakkhana Chainok
Puangpaka Kongvattananon
Shirley C. Gordon


            Becoming pregnant as an adolescent is a complex and worrying time for many. They are faced with a choice as to whether to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, to continue the pregnancy, and give the child up for adoption later, or terminate the pregnancy. Abortion is the ultimate choice for adolescents to handle their pregnancies. Legal abortion service for adolescent females with an unwanted pregnancy is an approach to improved quality of life in Thai society and avoids the many dangers of illegal abortions. This hermeneutic phenomenology study aimed to explore the lived experiences of legal abortion among adolescent females. Thirty adolescent females aged 15-19 years who underwent legal abortion were recruited using purposive sampling and snowball techniques. Data were collected using in-depth interviews and field notes. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis. Triangulation, member checking, and peer debriefing were employed to enhance the trustworthiness of the data.
             Four themes emerged from their experiences, including 1) The meaning of legal abortion: feeling safe but sinful, 2) Health after medical abortion: success or complications, 3) Life learning: the lessons in life, and 4) The need for good care and confidentiality. The findings of this study help the health care providers at legal abortion clinics to better understand the experiences of adolescent females undergoing an abortion. The findings will also inform health interventions that aim to reduce unwanted pregnancies and improve legal abortion services to meet the needs of adolescent females.

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Lakkhana Chainok, Puangpaka Kongvattananon, Shirley C. Gordon. Lived Experiences of Adolescents Undergoing Legal Abortion in a Province of Thailand. PRIJNR [Internet]. 2022 May 27 [cited 2022 Nov. 27];26(3):376-89. Available from:
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