Abstract of The Dilemma of Choosing Life (2000)


The purpose of this study is to understand the rational and emotional motivators which drive attitudes and feelings about abortion among teens. The conclusions of this study should provide the groundwork to develop and implement communication strategies that increase the percentage of teens who reject abortion and ultimately reduce abortion among teens. 


One-on-one interviewing was used with a group of 93 participants in the Chicago area between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. Respondents represent a range of genders, socio-economic statuses, and racial backgrounds. To uncover the subconscious emotional motivators, visualization, relaxation, and repetition techniques were used to better circumvent rationalizations. A large sampling was not required as the results can generally be applied to other people in similar decision-making scenarios.  


Teenagers are better understood not by their chronological age, but by their developmental status. Referring to this unique group as adolescents proves to be a more appropriate term. Adolescents’ opinions about abortion can be easily swayed depending on the context of the pregnancy. The Vitae Foundation can utilize this impressionable time in an adolescent’s life to educate them about how to deal with the most unfavorable circumstances of pregnancy without turning to abortion. The Vitae Foundation should reposition adolescence as a time to form character (by taking on perceived good and bad circumstances) which will set the tone for the future.  

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