Stigma in abortion care: Application to a grounded theory study

Allyson Lipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recent reserach study found that being more directly involved in medical abortion places greater demands on the nurses. The demands required by nurses working in abortion care may be increased by the stigma attached to such an antisocial action. This paper presents an application of stigma theory as espoused by Goffman, based on a qualitative research study on abortion. It is argued that women attending for abortion are stigmatised and nurses, although 'wise', have an affliate stigma through their close association with the procedure. It is proposed that the situation can be ameliorated by addressing stigma at policy, local and personal levels. Examples from other areas of practice are outlined for possible application to practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • abortion
  • nursing
  • stigma
  • affiliate stigma
  • felt stigma
  • termination of pregnancy
  • grounded theory


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