Counseling Clients Considering Abortion

Counseling Clients Considering Abortion

When it comes to sexual health, clients may face many difficult decisions for which their choices can have

significant consequences for many years to come. This includes decisions about contraception and abortion. Many

of these decisions address very sensitive concerns that clients may experience with a certain degree of

embarrassment, misinformation, and uncertainty. Consider for instance, a couple that faces a decision regarding

abortion in order to increase the viability of a multiple birth, or a couple whose religious beliefs prevent

them from using contraception even though a pregnancy might be fatal to the mother.
Counselors may have the opportunity to help their clients make such decisions in an informed, honest, and

thoughtful manner. Counselors also need to be very cognizant of how their own and their clients’ beliefs and

values about these decisions are influenced by the contextual background, such as their spiritual beliefs,

cultural backgrounds, and current relationship dynamics.
Because these sexual health issues are so very sensitive in nature, counselors must approach them with a solid

knowledge base, sound clinical reasoning, and a high level of self-awareness. This week’s assignments will aid

you in beginning to consider how best to work with clients in relation to these issues.
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
• Explain strategies for helping clients make healthy, informed decisions regarding their sexual health
• Analyze factors that influence clients’ decisions regarding abortion
• Explain how personal beliefs regarding contraception and abortion influence counseling sessions
Please proceed to the Resources.
This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this

week’s assigned Learning Resources.
Required Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List,

found in the Course Materials section of your syllabus.
• Article: American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA code of ethics. Retrieved

• Article: Ely, G. E. (2007). The abortion counseling experience: A discussion of patient narratives and

recommendations for best practices. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 3(2), 62–74.

Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
• Article: Hess, R. F. (2004). Dimensions of women’s long-term postabortion experience. MCN: The American

Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 29(3), 193–198. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the CINAHL Plus

• Article: Langston, A. M., Rosario, L., & Westhoff, C. L. (2010). Structured contraceptive counseling—A

randomized controlled trial. Patient Education & Counseling, 81(3), 362–367. Retrieved from the Walden

Library using the CINAHL Plus database.
• Article: Millner, V. S., & Hanks, R. B. (2002). Induced abortion: An ethical conundrum for

counselors.Journal of Counseling & Development, 80(1), 57–63. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the

Academic Search Complete database.
Assignment 1
Counseling Clients Considering Abortion
A client facing the decision of whether or not to have an abortion is likely to consider a wide range of factors

before making the final decision. This is often the case for clients regardless of whether they view themselves

as generally for or against abortion (or somewhere in between), as the decision is different when considering

how it applies to one’s own life.
The types of factors that can influence a client’s decisions include (but are not limited to) physical health

considerations, educational background, cultural values, and predictions about short- and long-term consequences

of abortion. Consider these, and other, factors as you respond to this week’s Assignment.
The Assignment (2- to 3-page paper):
• Explain potential factors that might influence whether or not a client decides to have an abortion. Include

short- and long-term considerations that might impact this decision.
• Explain why certain factors might have a stronger impact on a client’s decision regarding abortion depending

on the client’s background (age, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.).
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a

reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

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