The ELSA group project

The ‘Experiences and life situations of women experiencing unintended pregnancies – counselling and health care services (ELSA)’ research project is investigating how women in Germany experience and process unintended pregnancies. We are focusing on their needs and the current health care situation.

In order to further develop support for women experiencing unintended pregnancies that they carry to term or terminate, we need to know more about their life situation. Within the framework of the research project, we are examining the following questions:

Are there special challenges and pressures during this time? How do women deal with the situation and what consequences can it have?

What do they report in terms of social and health-related pressures and resources before, during and after the pregnancy? How are the counselling and health care services organised? Do they meet the needs of a diverse group of women experiencing unintended pregnancies?

In order to learn the answers to these research questions, six sub-projects with different focus areas will be collaborating from November 2020 to October 2023. More information about the group can be found here:

The goal is to improve the medical and psychosocial support system for women experiencing unintended pregnancies on a long-term basis.

In the project, the experiences of women with unintended pregnancies are recorded using a mix of methods from quantitative surveys with an online questionnaire, as well as more in-depth qualitative interviews in narrative form.



ELSA-VG at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences

ELSA-VG is one of the six sub-projects and is based at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences.

We aim to assess the perspectives of women who may experience special challenges due to their life situations.

In this regard, we are focusing on the experiences and perspectives of women with a history of migration and/or being refugees, on undocumented women and on women who were experiencing violence in their relationship at the time of the pregnancy.

We aim to give a voice to women who experienced an unintended pregnancy in challenging circumstances. By having conversations with these women, we are aiming to learn what structural and personal challenges and pressures they faced and what resources were available to them.

Which support and health care options were helpful? What was missing?

We are aiming to collect and evaluate these experiences as this knowledge will enable federal and state governments, as well as institutions and organisations, to improve the support available to women experiencing unintended pregnancies in these life situations.