Abstract of A Higher Calling (2006)


This study uncovers the psychological dynamics that drive women’s decisions about pregnancy. Specifically, the purpose is to uncover the dynamics that affect them when they decide to have children or when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. This study aims to understand what makes abortion unthinkable and what strategic messages can be used to market the emotional “opposite” of abortion. These messages should serve to decrease the percentage of women who choose abortion after experiencing unexpected pregnancies. 


One-on-one interviewing was used with a group of 92 female participants from four markets: Memphis, Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles. The women were then separated into four cells: Happy Mothers (no doubts about pregnancy), Hopeful Mothers (actively trying to become first-time mothers), Post-Abortion Mothers (Those who have had abortions and have at least one child), and Conflicted Mothers (those who have concerns about carrying to term). Caucasians represented 50% of the participants. African Americans and Hispanics each represented 25% of the participants.  


The factors that influence pregnant mothers whether to carry to term or not are 1) the level of support and reassurance they feel and 2) the level of acceptance for the new identity they will take on by carrying to term. The messaging needed to reach these mothers should focus on changing a “mistake” into a “higher calling” by utilizing the factors above. 

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