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Volume 46
Pages 35 - 50

Addressing Abortion Provider Stigma: A Pilot Implementation of the Providers Share Workshop in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America

CONTEXT

In much of Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, abortion is legally restricted, and abortion providers experience stigma and legal jeopardy. The Providers Share Workshop group intervention has been shown to reduce provider stigma in the United States, but has not been evaluated in other settings.

METHODS

In 2014–2015, the Providers Share Workshop was adapted and piloted among 59 abortion caregivers from three Sub-Saharan African countries and 93 caregivers from seven Latin American countries. Survey data collected before, directly following and six months after each workshop measured stigma, attitudes, and legal safety and advocacy engagement, using original items and adapted scales. Univariate analyses and baseline pairwise correlations were used to measure changes in outcomes over time, and between demographic characteristics and outcomes. Mixed-effects linear regressions and multivariable models controlling for demographics were used to assess changes in outcomes over time.

RESULTS

Six months after workshop participation, total abortion stigma had decreased among caregivers in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin America (beta coefficients, -0.2 and -0.4, respectively). Unfavorable attitudes had decreased in Africa (-0.2) but not in Latin America, where attitudes were favorable to start; emotional exhaustion and depersonalization also had decreased in Africa (-2.9 and -1.2), and legal safety had increased (0.8). Increased total abortion stigma was negatively associated with legal safety, in both Africa and Latin America (-1.9 and -0.6), and with legal advocacy in Africa (-1.5).

CONCLUSIONS

The Providers Share Workshop is a promising intervention to support the abortion care workforce in Sub-Saharan African and Latin American settings.

Authors' Affiliations

Elizabeth A. Mosley is postdoctoral fellow, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA. Lisa Martin is associate professor, Health Policy Studies, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI, USA. Meghan Seewald is project manager, Jane Hassinger is program lead and Lisa H. Harris is professor—all in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Kelly Blanchard is president, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA, USA. Sarah E. Baum is associate, Ibis Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA, USA. Diana Santana is regional program director, Lina Echeverri is senior program learning officer and Jenna Garrett is program manager–all with Planned Parenthood Global, Miami, FL, USA. Jesse Njunguru is independent consultant, Nairobi, Kenya.

Disclaimer
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Guttmacher Institute.

International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health