Abstract of Minority Women’s Study (2023)

The Minority Women’s Study consisted of two phases. Phase 1 was named National Women’s Health Study and Phase 2 was named Deeply Rooted: Abortion in the Black Community. Both abstracts are listed below.

Abstract of National Women’s Health Study 


The objective of this study was to explore external economic and cultural factors (rather than internal) to gain a better understanding of how they may contribute to the abortion decision process. Additionally, using the survey method of research, the intent was to identify trends that could be helpful in refining message delivery for the following populations of women: Black, Hispanic, Caucasian, and Asian. 


The study utilized Virtual Reality Research methodology to conduct a ninety-eight-question survey. Participants were outfitted with a virtual reality Oculus headset which allowed them to fully immerse in one of several virtual environments to control outside stimuli, promote relaxation, and provide a “safe space” from which participants can confidentially and honestly answer questions. 

In the U.S., 201 Black (33%), 192 Caucasian women (32%), 97 Hispanic women (16%), and 103 Asian women (17%) completed the survey, and 81 women completed the survey from Africa (of which 61 were Black, 8 Caucasian, 6 Hispanic and 5 Asian) totaling 596 from America and eighty-one from Africa all between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. 


Numerous factors and positions were found to significantly correlate with the probability of deciding to abort or not to abort in response to an unexpected pregnancy. Some were historical in nature, such as a history of sexual abuse, sexual activity during one’s adolescence, and the educational degrees one’s parents had obtained. Additionally, a number of factors contributed heavily to the decision process that were a function of the individual’s psychological and worldview makeup. 

Abstract of Deeply Rooted: Abortion in the Black Community 


This study is Phase II of Vitae`s Minority Women`s Health Study. Here, we sought to uncover the psychological dynamics that drive Black women’s perceptions and beliefs about abortion. A second objective was to discover how we can “move the needle” on hearts and minds and gain more traction with Black women.  


One-on-one interviewing was used with a group of 37 participants in Orlando, Chicago, Seattle, and Memphis. Participants were Black women between the ages of 20-34 and half had attended, or currently attend, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). Nearly half of the respondents had experienced abortion. All respondents were screened with a pre-interview survey to capture those with true “middle” ground positions, with none of them being overtly pro­choice or pro-life. 

Universities included: Howard University, Morgan State University, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta, Tennessee State University, Chicago State University, Southern Illinois University of Education, Florida A&M University, Kentucky State University, and LeMoyne-Owen University. 

The interview explored women’s perceptions of abortion– how they feel about it, where they have learned about abortion, their opinion of abortion as it relates to racism, as well as their awareness of pregnancy help centers. 


Much of what we learned in the previous seven emotional research studies was confirmed in Deeply Rooted. The vast majority of respondents viewed abortion as a necessary “good” to preserve one’s perceived self-identity. As seen here, black women of reproductive age, in general, believe the abortion industry is not inherently racist and, instead, believe abortion can be used as a tool to help bring women and families of color out of systematic racism. They also expressed anger and frustration when asked about abortion and politics, as they view this as an issue mostly focused on by “white men” with the intent of “controlling women.” Interestingly, this study revealed that Black women receive information about abortion through social media, however, they rely heavily on their mother or maternal-figure and her experiences, advice, and opinion about abortion, particularly when making a decision about an unexpectant pregnancy. 


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