Since the legalization of abortion is 1973, both pro-choice and pro-life sides of the debate have struggled for political and cultural influence. Meanwhile, the voices of women who have utilized abortion serves remain unheard, their stories invisible. Largely, this silence surrounding women's abortion experiences has been attributed to the stigma that is associated with the abortion procedure. Other have argued that women are not silent about their abortion experiences, but that they navigate the complex political and social contexts of their lives by managing the stigmatized identity of having had an abortion. By utilizing in-depth, semi-structured interviews, and encouraging a feminist participatory model, my research brings the standpoints of women who have had abortions to the center of the discussion about the relationship between stigma and disclosure practices. Ultimately, I argue that abortion stigma is created by the context of women's lives, and that disclosure practices vary based of women's perception of that stigma. Because of the diversity of women's lives, generalization about the value certain types of disclosure cannot be made.


Shannon J. Miller

Committee Member

Maria Bevacqua

Committee Member

Marlene Medrano

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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