Procedures account for an estimated 1 3 of maternal

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Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
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Chapter 11 / Exercise 05
Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
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procedures account for an estimated 1 3% of maternal deaths worldwide (approximately 67,000) every year. Some of these methods include: Drinking bleach, tu rpentine, or tea made with livestock manure Inserting herbal concoctions into the vagina or cervix Placing foreign bodies, such as a coat hanger, chicken bone, or stick in the uterus Jumping from the tops of roofs or staircases In addition to the health risks and consequences such as death, long-term health problems, and infertility, unsafe abortions lead to increases in economic burdens on public health systems (Guttmacher Institute, 2008). When a woman is given an unsafe abortion, there is a high likelihood that she will experience health complications. These compli- cations can cost thousands of dol- lars in further medical care, many of which can be avoided with proper medical care and a safe abortive method. Specifically, research shows that at 1 month after an abortion, minors were some- what less satisfied with their decision than adult women. This dissatisfaction was pri- marily because the coping skills of adolescents are underdeveloped or less mature than adults. Parental conflict was an important part of this finding (Quinton et al., 2001). The pressure parents can purposely or inadvertently place on their pregnant teenager can be overwhelming for a young woman who is already experiencing a lot of stress, worry, and anxiety. This pressure likely impedes her ability to make a difficult decision on her own. Despite this finding at 1 month after an abortion, research also shows that at 2 years after an abortion, adolescents reported similar levels of satisfaction with their decision as adult women and were no more likely than adult women to experience postabortive depression. Regardless of age, making the decision to terminate a pregnancy is difficult. If a woman is having trouble coping with her decision to have an abortion, professional coun- seling may help to ensure her emotional health and well-being. As we have seen, the decision to become a parent is life changing. Some individuals decide in advance when and how they want to become parents. Others find that parent- hood finds them, either through an unintended pregnancy or some other unexpected route. Understanding the role parenthood plays in our lives and in the larger context of our social environment can help us make critical life decisions. SEXUAL WELL-BEING AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS The pursuit of sexual well-being in the context of reproductive rights and justice in the United States has been difficult, political, and hard-perhaps more challenging than in any other major industrial country in the world (DiMauro & Joffe, 2009). Poverty is a large fac- tor, because people in rural areas tend to be poorer and have less access to quality health care compared to urban areas, including good sexual health and maternal or reproductive health care (Galabos, 2005). However, there is political opposition to reproductive rights, and some states prohibit any abortion supported by public or private funds, which has a nega- tive effect on poor women and women of color (Joffe, 2009). The reasons for this political opposition, especially among conservative males, are complex but they tend to be reinforced 287
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Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
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Chapter 11 / Exercise 05
Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
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