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October, 2002
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One hundred and fifty women who had abortions in Belarus (former Soviet republic) were interviewed regarding reproductive history, decision-making and psychological outcomes. Positive and negative responses (including PTSD, guilt, grief, depression, anxiety/panic and emotional numbness) were assessed during the interview with the Impact of Events-R Scale to objectively measure aspects of PTSD. It was hypothesized that a portion of the sample would evidence PTSD with recognition of life, attachment, time, number of weeks of pregnancy, coercion, supported decision-making, wantedness, and age all predictive of negative responses. Forty-six percent of the sample suffered PTSD the best predictors being recognition of the life of the fetus, attachment, time since the abortion, and number of weeks of pregnancy.


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Natalia Mufel, Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., and Sergei Sivuha, Ph.D.

Natalia Mufel is psychologist for Women's Wellness Center, Minsk, Belarus and a doctoral candidate in Belarusian State University. Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Professor of Research, Vesalius College, Free University of Brussels, and Psychological Consultant of Advances in Health. She currently resides at 3 Avenue des Fleurs, 1150 Brusssels, Belgium. Please direct correspondence about this paper to her at Aspeckhard@brutele.be or Speckhardl@aol.com. Sergei Sivuha is Head of the Psychology Department at European Humanities University, Minsk Belarus. He served as the statistician for this project.