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Development and Evaluation of the Abortion Attributes Questionnaire


  • We extend our appreciation to the site coordinators and staff at the participating Planned Parenthood clinics, especially Sue Ferden in Iowa, Madge Armstrong in Pennsylvania, Evonne Morici and Rebecca Whiteman in California, Jini Tanenhaus in New York, and Vicki Jacobs in Arizona. We thank Linda J. Beckman and Sarah J. Satre for their contributions to this study and Anna Wilson for her assistance with data analysis. Funding for this research was provided by grants from The John Merck Fund and the Education Foundation of America to the Public Health Institute. We heartily thank them for their generous support. Finally, we thank the women who took the time to share their perceptions and experiences with us.

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to S. Marie Harvey, Center for the Study of Women in Society, 1201 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1201 [e-mail:].


This paper describes the development and evaluation of the Abortion Attributes Questionnaire (AAQ), an instrument designed to assess the perceived importance of specific characteristics of abortion methods. Women receiving medical abortions (n= 186) and women who chose surgical procedures (n= 118) completed the AAQ. Participants were asked to rate how important each of 21 characteristics would be “when choosing between surgical and medical abortion.” Factor analyses revealed that the AAQ consists of four factors and, as subscales, the factors have good internal reliability. The validity of the AAQ was established through discriminant function analysis and results indicated that three of the four factors predicted choice. Taken together, these findings provide empirical support for the constructs measured by the AAQ.