Views and practice of abortion among Queensland midwives and sexual health nurses

Desai, Aakanksha, Maier, Belinda, James-McAlpine, Janelle, Prentice, Daniel, and de Costa, Caroline (2022) Views and practice of abortion among Queensland midwives and sexual health nurses. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecolog, 62 (2). pp. 219-225.

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Background: A significant barrier to the access of safe abortion is the lack of trained abortion providers. Recent studies show that with appropriate education, nurses and midwives can provide abortions as safely as medical practitioners.

Aims: To examine the attitudes and practices of registered midwives (RMs) and sexual health nurses (SHNs) in Queensland toward abortion.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional mixed-methods questionnaire was distributed to RMs and SHNs from the Queensland Nursing and Midwifery Union. Data were described and analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Results: There was a 20% response rate (n = 624) to the survey from the overall study population. There were 53.5% who reported they would support the provision of abortion in any situation at all; 7.4% held views based on religion or conscience that would make them completely opposed to abortion. There were 92.9% who felt that education surrounding abortion should be part of the core curriculum for midwifery and/or nursing students in Australia. The qualitative responses demonstrated a variety of views and suggestions regarding the practice of abortion.

Conclusions: There was a wide variation in views toward induced abortion from RMs and SHNs in Queensland. While a proportion of respondents opposed abortion in most circumstances, a significant group was in support of abortion in any situation and felt involvement in initiating and/or performing abortion would be within the scope of RMs and SHNs.

Item ID: 73307
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1479-828X
Keywords: abortion, Australia, midwifery, nursing
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2022 08:25
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420499 Midwifery not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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