Estimating Adolescent Abortion Incidence and Unintended Pregnancy in Zimbabwe

Taylor Riley, Guttmacher Institute
Gerald Madziyire, University of Zimbabwe
Tsungai Chipato, University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences – Clinical Trails Research Centre
Elizabeth A. Sully, Guttmacher Institute

This paper provides the first estimation of age-specific abortion incidence in Zimbabwe, and examines differences in abortion among adolescents by marital status and urban and rural residence. We utilized an age-specific approach of the Abortion Incidence Complications Methodology, an indirect estimation approach, to estimate age-specific abortion rates. We utilized three surveys: the Health Facility Survey, a census of 227 facilities that provide post abortion care (PAC); the Health Professional Survey, a purposive sample of key informants knowledgeable about abortion (n=118); and the Prospective Morbidity Survey of PAC patients (n=1002). Adolescent women aged 15-19 had the lowest abortion rate compared to other age groups, and women aged 30-34 had the highest abortion rate in Zimbabwe. Unintended pregnancy levels were similar across age groups, and adolescent women had the lowest percent of unintended pregnancies that ended in induced abortion (9%) compared to all other age groups.

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