Delays in request for pregnancy termination: comparison of patients in the first and second trimesters

Jessica W. Kiley*, Lynn M. Yee, Cassandra M. Niemi, Joseph M. Feinglass, Melissa A. Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the availability of first trimester abortion services in urban settings, many women request abortion in the second trimester. We identified protective and risk factors associated with women who delay requesting abortions until the second trimester. Study Design: The study was a cross-sectional survey of 247 patients requesting surgical abortion at an urban family planning clinic. Survey and medical records data were analyzed for associations between 18 risk factors and incidence of second trimester request. Results: Thirty-two percent of subjects presented in the second trimester. Chi-square analyses revealed that first trimester participants were more often employed (p<.0001), privately insured (p=.01), or had previous abortions (p=.04). Second trimester patients were younger (p<.0001), more often primigravid (p=.04), experienced more difficulty financing the procedure (p<.0001) and finding a surgeon (p<.0001), traveled longer distances (p=.005), and more often feared the procedure (p=.03). Using multiple logistic regression, women requesting second trimester abortions were more likely to report: obstacles financing the abortion (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.28-4.28); traveling long distances (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.31-6.31); and fear (OR 2.45, 95% CI 1.17-5.17). These women were less often employed outside the home (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.19-0.64). Conclusions: Physicians and advocates must strive to reduce abortion costs, increase access to trained surgeons, and allay women's fears of abortion procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-451
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Abortion delay
  • Dilation and evacuation
  • Pregnancy termination
  • Second trimester abortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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