The ELSA Study: Experiences and Living Conditions of Unintended Pregnant Women - Counseling and Care Services.

© www.MUVS.org, Wien; Photographer: Christina Lag-Schröckenstein.

Möchten Sie an einer unserer Befragungen teilnehmen?

Hier können Sie mit uns Kontakt aufnehmen:

Sie haben eine Schwangerschaft abgebrochen und wollen den
Online-Fragebogen ausfüllen:  http://elsa-studie.de/kontakt_fragebogen

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mit Schwangerschaftsabbruch gemacht und wären bereit, an einem anonymen
Interview teilzunehmen:

Die Befragung ist leider geschlossen und eine Teilnahme nicht mehr


Im November 2021 starten wir mit der repräsentativen Online-Befragung von Frauen im Rahmen der ELSA-Studie. Der Fragebogen liegt in sechs Sprachen vor. Sind Sie von KANTAR angeschrieben worden und um eine Teilnahme an der Online-Befragung gebeten worden? Wurden Sie in Ihrer Frauenarztpraxis oder einer Schutzeinrichtung auf die Befragung aufmerksam gemacht? Schön, dass Sie zu uns gefunden haben und sich für diese wichtige Studie interessieren.

Hier finden Sie alle Informationen in sechs Sprachen.


An unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is always a special situation in a woman's life. Up to now, there has been national research on the development of unwanted pregnancies. The ELSA project now aims to produce scientifically based findings on key factors influencing the experience and processing of an unwanted pregnancy. Combined with analyses of the psychosocial and medical care situation, starting points for improvements are to be developed.

Objectives and procedure

The objective of the ELSA research project is to gain insights into the social and health-related stresses and resources of women who are unintentionally pregnant and who carry this pregnancy to term or terminate it, and to explore how the support and care they experience promote or impede the processes of coping. Based on international research findings, according to which it is not the termination of a pregnancy as such, but the unintended pregnancy under difficult life circumstances that generates the stress, the developments in intended and unintended pregnancies as well as in carried and terminated unintended pregnancies will be examined. An overarching developmental perspective is taken and explored in a quantitative study including a repeat study. In order to be able to draw conclusions for the support of men and couples, partners are included in a qualitative sub-study. The focus is also on women with special problems such as experience of violence and migration, psychological stress and trauma.

Considering the respective situations prior to pregnancy, the availability, utilization and effectiveness of professional support in the psychosocial and medical fields will be analyzed from the perspective of affected women and professionals. This will be combined with analyses of the current state of psychosocial and medical support and care services in their regional diversity and cause. In addition, the views of professionals and managers as well as associations are systematically considered and physicians who perform abortions are interviewed.

Perspectives for practice

Findings will be obtained on the experience and processing of unwanted pregnancies, on psychosocial counseling and support services, and on the medical care situation. These findings can be used at the federal and state levels, as well as by institutions and facilities, to develop support and care services that are more tailored to the needs of women and, if necessary, to make adequate health and professional policy decisions. For example, access to and quality of information for women can be improved and experiences of stigmatization reduced. The findings address the expansion of resources or structures of medical care, the qualification of professionals and the expansion of cooperation and interfaces between counseling services and care services. All of this always serves the goal of providing the best possible support for unintentionally pregnant women and ensuring their reproductive health.


The ELSA research network consists of the Social Science Research Institute on Gender | FIVE Freiburg (SoFFI F.), Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Ulm. The project is managed by the University of Applied Sciences Fulda.

The network is working cooperatively on the complementary facets of the project in three work packages (WP): survey of women with unwanted carried/aborted pregnancies (WP 1), psychosocial counseling situation (WP 2), and medical care (WP 3).

Advisory Board members

The advisory board is composed of renowned representatives from science and practice. It acts in an advisory capacity and is to discuss both fundamental and specific perspectives on the respective research foci and questions and their scientific and practice-related interlinking, identify interfaces and bring different logics of action of involved actors into the project. In addition, the advisory board can incorporate country- and agency-specific features. It meets once a year, and its members are also involved in an advisory capacity in specific questions relating to the project's work packages.

Dr. Delal Atmaca (Da Migra Association, Association of Migrant Women)
Dr. med. Julia Bartley (Gynecological Clinic of the University Hospital Magdeburg)
Sarah Clasen (Federal Association of Independent Welfare Associations)
Prof. Dr. med. Matthias David (Association of the gynecological clinics of the Virchow-Klinikum of the Charité)
Dr. med. Werner Harlfinger (State Association of Gynecologists)
Ulrike Hauffe (Deputy Chairwoman of the Administrative Board of BARMER and member of the G-BA)
Angelika Heßling (Federal Center for Health Education)
Robert Höcherl (Bavarian State Ministry for Family Affairs, Labor and Social Affairs)
Prof. Dr. med. Annette Kersting (Leipzig University Hospital)
Rita Klügel (Donum Vitae)
Barbara Knappstein (Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia)
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Kreß (University of Bonn)
Wolf Lütje, MD (German Society for Psychosomatic Gynecology and Obstetrics)
Dr. Silja Matthiesen (University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf)
Dr. Monika Mund (National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians)
Heike Pinne (pro familia Federal Association) Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Schleußner (University Hospital Jena)
Prof. Dr. Holger Stepan (University of Leipzig)
Prof. Dr. Beate Wimmer-Puchinger (Professional Association of Austrian Psychologists)
Angelika Wolff (Federal Association of Voluntary Welfare Workers)

Guest status on the advisory board:
Dr. Eva Becher (DLR)
Julia Krieger (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth)
Dr. Thomas Stracke (BMG)
Simone Strecker (BMG)