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Abortion Norms and Stigma Scale

The Abortion Norms and Stigma Scale is a 21-item tool measuring norms and stigma around abortion decisions in the context of unintended pregnancy. The scale uses items on hypothetical situations of a young woman who has chosen those pregnancy decisions. Items are organized into 4 sub-scales: conditional acceptability, anticipated reactions, misperceptions, and attitudes.

Categories

Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults

Items:

Conditional Acceptability
1. Abortion is acceptable if the woman cannot take care of her child.*
2. Abortion is acceptable if the woman does not have family support.*
3. If the man involved in the pregnancy will not support you in having a baby, it’s okay to have an abortion.*
4. If your life is really messed up, it’s better to have an abortion than to keep the baby.*

Response Options:
Strongly disagree - 1
Disagree - 2
Neither agree nor disagree - 3
Agree - 4
Strongly agree - 5

Anticipated Reactions
If I got pregnant accidentally and decided to have an abortion, the people who matter most to me:
5. Would be disappointed
6. Would be happy*
7. Would be mad
8. Would be surprised
9. Would understand*
10. Would be supportive*
11. Would be ashamed

Response Options:
Extremely unlikely - 1
Unlikely - 2
Neutral - 3
Likely - 4
Extremely likely - 5

Misperceptions
12. Abortion is risky for women’s health.
13. Women who have multiple abortions may not be able to have a child later in life.

Response Options:
Strongly disagree - 1
Disagree - 2
Neither agree nor disagree - 3
Agree - 4
Strongly agree - 5

Attitudes
14. Abortion is acceptable in any situation.*
15. Women who have abortions are killing their own children.
16. Abortion should be the woman’s decision.*
17. In your opinion, how irresponsible is a woman your age who has an abortion.
18. In your opinion, how mature is a woman your age who has an abortion.*
19. In your opinion, how selfish is a woman your age who has an abortion.
20. In your opinion, how strong is a woman your age who has an abortion.
21. In your opinion, how coldheartless is a woman your age who has an abortion.

Response Options:
Not at all - 1
A little bit - 2
Somewhat - 3
Quite - 4
Extremely - 5

*Items reverse coded during scoring

Scoring Procedures

Mean scores of sub-scales and total scale are calculated.

Original Citation

Rice, W. S., Turan, B., Stringer, K. L., Helova, A., White, K., Cockrill, K., & Turan, J. M. (2017). Norms and stigma regarding pregnancy decisions during an unintended pregnancy: Development and predictors of scales among young women in the U.S. South. PLoS ONE, 12(3), e0174210. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0174210

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