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The Association between Abortion Motivation and Abortion Safety in Ghana

Ndola Prata, University of California, Berkeley
Jalang Conteh, University of California, Berkeley

In Ghana, where abortion is permitted on very limited legal grounds, unsafe abortions contribute 11% of all maternal mortality. This study investigates the association between abortion motivation (the primary reason women sought abortion) and abortion safety. We analyzed a sample of 1,425 women using the Ghana Maternal Health Survey (2017). Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between abortion motivation and safety. The study found that women who seek abortions for reasons not covered by legal grounds are at a significantly higher risk of unsafe abortions. Compared to women who had a legal ground for abortion, women who cited financial constraints (OR=2.84), a need to space or delay pregnancy (OR=2.51), lack of social support (OR=2.23), or education/career advancement (OR=3.00) were at a significantly higher risk of seeking least safe abortions. The law should be expanded to ensure that women can seek and obtain legal and safe abortions.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 119. Trends, Determinants and Consequences of Induced Abortion