Background: There are two types of voluntary interruption of pregnancy: elective and therapeutic abortion. These forms are different for many reasons, and it is reasonable to assume that they can have negative consequences that can last until a subsequent gestation. However, no study has analyzed the psychological experience of gestation after a previous abortion, distinguishing the two forms of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. Objective: This study aims to explore the level of prenatal attachment and centrality of pregnancy in nulliparous low-risk pregnant women with a recently (<3 years) previous elective or therapeutic abortion. Methods: A total of 34 nulliparous pregnant women with a history of abortion (23 elective and 11 therapeutic abortion), aged from 27 to 48 years (mean = 37.17), were recruited in the maternity ward of a public hospital of the metropolitan area of Tuscany and Lombardy (Italy) during the third trimester of gestation. The participants filled out a battery of questionnaires aimed at assessing prenatal attachment and centrality of pregnancy. Results: Analyses of variance showed that women with a history of elective abortion reported a higher centrality of pregnancy than women with a past therapeutic abortion. On the contrary, women with a past therapeutic abortion reported higher prenatal attachment. Conclusion: Elective and therapeutic abortions are different experiences that impact the way women experience a subsequent pregnancy. Future research should further investigate the psychological experience of gestation after abortion.
- pregnancy, therapeutic abortion, elective abortion, prenatal attachment, centrality of pregnancy