A Qualitative Exploration of a Six-Week Abortion Ban in Georgia Open Access

Verma, Nisha (Summer 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/k643b230p?locale=en


OBJECTIVES: To gain a deeper understanding of opinions on abortion and early abortion bans, focusing on the complex underpinnings that shape these views.


STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured Zoom interviews with residents of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Potential participants first completed a screening tool to allow for recruitment of people who demonstrated internal conflict around abortion based on their answers to two abortion questions on a 5-point Likert scale. The interviews focused on participants’ thoughts and feelings on abortion and Georgia’s six-week abortion ban. We transcribed, coded, and analyzed the interviews, and are presenting a subset of our themes.


RESULTS: We interviewed 28 people from March to May 2020. Many interviewees discussed feeling alienated by the polarizing nature of public discourse around abortion. They described personally experiencing internal conflict around abortion, which often emerged as they attempted to reconcile their own values with what they thought should be regulated for others. Participants described feeling like others approached abortion decisions too casually, and described the value of early abortion bans in acting as a deterrent to irresponsible behavior. Limited pregnancy literacy also affected participants’ understanding and support of early abortion bans. Finally, many people described the shifting of their abortion opinions, which was often motivated by their own experiences, the experiences of those around them, and learning about different perspectives.


CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that shifts in abortion opinions frequently occur. By conveying the thoughtfulness and intentionality with which many people seek and provide abortion, addressing limited pregnancy literacy among the general public, and validating areas of internal conflict, we invite people to exit the polarization and embrace their own complex views.


IMPLICATIONS: More research is needed to better understand people’s feelings about and areas of internal conflict around abortion and early abortion bans. With this understanding, we can potentially communicate more effectively about these issues with the general public.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction and Statement of the Problem and Purpose

Introduction and Rationale

Problem Statement

Theoretical Framework

Research Question and Purpose Statement

Significance Statement

Definition of Terms

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Abortion in the US

Impact of Legislation on Abortion in the US

Accessing Abortion in Georgia

Abortion Knowledge and Opinions

Chapter 3. Methodology


Population and Sample

Research Design and Procedures


Chapter 4. Results


Screening Tool Results

Interview Sample Characteristics

Major Interview Themes

Summary of Findings

Chapter 5. Discussion

Introduction and Summary of Study

Discussion Screening Tool Results

Discussion of Interview Results

Strengths and Limitations

Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions


Appendix 1. Example Social Media Recruitment Advertisements

Appendix 2. Screening Tool

Appendix 3. Participant Interview Guide

Appendix 4. Informed Consent Form

Appendix 5. Code Book

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