Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 315–332 | Cite as

Abortion and Health Care Chaplaincy in Australia



This paper summarizes the results gained from quantitative and qualitative research involving 327 Australian health care chaplains with regard to their involvement in abortion issues within the health care context. The findings indicate that approximately 20% of surveyed chaplains had provided some form of pastoral intervention to patients and/or their families dealing with issues of abortion and that approximately 10% of chaplains had assisted clinical staff with issues concerning abortion. There was found to be no-statistically significant difference with regard to the number of catholic chaplains compared with protestant chaplains or staff chaplains compared with volunteer chaplains involved in abortion issues. Analysis using the WHO Pastoral Intervention codings highlighted a variety of issues encountered by chaplains and the non-judgmental pastoral care used by chaplains when assisting those dealing with abortion. Some implications of this study with respect to patient and clinical staff support are suggested.


abortion chaplaincy pastoral care 



Appreciation is given to the School of Public Health, La Trobe University (Victoria, Australia), the ‘Wagstaff Bequest’, Ormond College, University of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia), the ‘Australian Health & Welfare Chaplains Association Incorporated’, the ‘Love to the World Scholarship’ (New South Wales, Australia), and the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania (Tasmania, Hobart) for their contribution to this research.


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Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityBlackburn SouthAustralia
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of TsamaniaHobartAustralia

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