December 14, 2020

Measurement of abortion safety using community-based surveys: Findings from three countries

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Authors: Suzanne O. Bell, Funmilola OlaOlorun, Mridula Shankar, Danish Ahmad, Georges Guiella, Elizabeth Omoluabi, Anoop Khanna, Andoh Kouakou Hyacinthe,
Caroline Moreau

Journal: PLOS ONE

This study measured abortion safety in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Rajasthan, India using population-based abortion data from representative samples of reproductive age women. Interviewers asked women separately about their experience with “pregnancy removal” and “period regulation at a time when you were worried you were pregnant”, and collected details on method(s) and source(s) of abortion. We operationalized safety along two dimensions: 1) whether the method(s) used were non-recommended and put the woman at potentially high risk of abortion related morbidity and mortality (i.e. methods other than surgery and medication abortion drugs); and 2) whether the source(s) used involved a non-clinical (or no) provider(s). We combined source and method information to categorize a woman’s abortion into one of four safety categories.