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"Can you keep a secret?": methodological considerations for qualitative research on women’s abortion experiences

Nandagiri, Rishita ORCID: 0000-0003-4424-769X (2018) "Can you keep a secret?": methodological considerations for qualitative research on women’s abortion experiences. In: Abortion and reproductive justice: the unfinished revolution III, 2018-07-08 - 2018-07-12, Rhodes University in Grahamstown (Makanda), South Africa. (Submitted)

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Empirical abortion research is shaped by the stigma, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding abortion experiences. It thus requires managing complex ethical and methodological issues. There is an inherent tension in conducting abortion research: (i) navigating secrecy to recruit participants who have terminated a pregnancy and are willing to reveal this information, while (ii) maintaining and securing that secrecy. This need for secrecy- by providers, gatekeepers, and women- profoundly affects research design. Drawing on nine months of primary qualitative research in two rural districts in India, this paper explores the management of secrecy and privacy, and the roles of relationship-building and trust in qualitative abortion research. It considers recruitment strategies, safeguarding mechanisms, minimisation of exposure, ethics, and reflexivity. Understanding and accounting for the roles that concealment, silence, and trust play in abortion research can build more responsive, flexible, and ethical research designs, contributing to more robust and rigorous studies of abortion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 the Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 13:42
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2021 00:08

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