Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Nursing (Nursing)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

JoAnn Trybulski

Second Committee Member

Rosina Cianelli

Third Committee Member

Karina Gattamorta

Fourth Committee Member

Anne Norris


Women of all races and color are affected by abortion, including Latinas. In 2004, 22% of all reported U.S. abortions were obtained by Latina women, in 2008, non-Latina white women accounted for 36% of abortions, 30% of abortions were obtained by non-Latina Black women, 25% of abortions were obtained by Latina women and 9% by women of other races. From 1997-2006, the rate of abortion in non-Latinas decreased by 4.8%; however, the rate of abortion for Latinas increased by 23.6%. The Latina population represents the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States. As the number of Latinas increase, the number of abortions may also increase as a result of the increase in the Latina population. Past research on abortion has abundantly produced a large number of statistical and descriptive analyses of women who experience abortion, but researchers have failed to put into perspective multiple factors in abortion. The literature about abortion shows a shortage of studies related to cultural values, religion, family and number of pregnancies. In addition, there is limited literature about the multi-dimensional factors related to abortion and Latina women. The purpose of this study was to investigate if Latina women who report a history of abortion differ from those Latinas who do not report a history of abortion, based on levels of acculturation, religiosity, degree of familism, and on number of pregnancies (reproductive history). This study is a secondary data analysis of SEPA II, an HIV prevention intervention specifically designed for Latina women. SEPA II is a randomized controlled trial with Hispanic women between the ages of 18-50, sexually active in the last six months, and that identify themselves as Latina. The data from 548 women were analyzed. One hundred forty three (143) women reported a history of abortion and 405 reported no history. Descriptive statistics, t- tests, Chi square and Logistic regression were used in order to determine whether there were significant differences in each of the outcome variables. In this study, the researcher found that Latinas with a history of abortion scored lower on the acculturation scale in comparison with those who did not have a history of abortion. Latinas attending religious services regularly were less likely to report a history of abortion than those Latinas who did not go to religious service regularly. Women with a history of abortion had higher score on the familism scale particularly in the support from family sub-scale. The number of pregnancies was also significant; women who had been pregnant before are more likely to report a history of abortion. The results from this study will add to the knowledge base about abortion and Latina women. An emerging model to represent factors associated with abortion in Latinas was developed using results from this study. This model needs addition refinement based on future study to guide health care providers caring for Latina women. Further investigations are needed in this growing segment of the population to develop and test recommendations for pre-abortion counseling and post abortion follow up care that are culturally tailored.


abortion; Latinas, unintended pregnancy; acculturation; familism; reproductive behavior; religion