The Sexuality and Abortion Stigma Study (SASS) re-examines data from a decade of studies on abortion in the UK. Drawing on the accounts of women, providers, and educators, it addresses abortion stigma, and considers how to move the conversation on from stigma to normalisation, both in academic and in more everyday terms.

This website brings together all the outputs relating to the SASS qualitative secondary analysis study, including original journal articles based on the study findings, papers from the original studies, interviews and blogs from the study team.

More about the SASS Project

The SASS project was devised by the study team in response to a call from the Wellcome Trust for research relating to sexualities and health. The team had already worked on various projects relating to abortion, and felt there would be significant benefit from revisiting the huge volumes of data they had amassed, with a focus on sexuality and stigma.

SASS was therefore designed as a qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) study. QSA can be particularly useful in the context of ‘sensitive’ research topics such as abortion and other aspects of sexual or reproductive health. In SASS, we aimed to explore how useful a QSA approach would be in furthering understanding of abortion stigma. As the study progressed, we became interested in moving on from understanding stigma, to exploring normalisation of abortion.

The SASS project is led by Dr Carrie Purcell, along with co-investigators Prof Lesley Hoggart, Dr Fiona Bloomer, Prof Sam Rowlands, and Research Assistant Dr Karen Maxwell.

Learn more about the SASS team