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The relationship between sociodemographic factors and reporting having terminated a pregnancy among Ghanaian women: a population-based study
Authors: Dankwah E, Steeves M, Ramsay D, Feng C, and Farag M
Source: International Health, ihy035; DOI: 10.1093/inthealth/ihy035
Topic(s): Abortion
Country: Africa
  Ghana
Published: MAY 2018
Abstract: Background: Pregnancy termination is an illegal medical procedure in Ghana and 88% of induced abortions are performed in unsafe conditions, thus recipients face an elevated risk of abortion-related complications. This study aims to explore the associations between sociodemographic factors and reporting having terminated a pregnancy among Ghanaian women. Methods: Logistic regression models were estimated using data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (n=9396). ORs were computed for the associations between reporting pregnancy termination and select demographic and socio-economic factors. Results: Education level, employment status, financial status and marital status of women are significantly associated with reporting having terminated a pregnancy. Conclusions: Women who are employed, cohabit with a partner and are considered middle class or wealthy are more likely than their counterparts to report having terminated a pregnancy. Ghanaian women with intermediate levels of education are more likely than both their more- and less-educated counterparts to report having terminated a pregnancy. These findings highlight the need for the development of policies aimed at reducing unsafe abortions associated with unintended pregnancies. Specific recommendations include providing family planning education and outreach to high-risk groups to reduce unintended pregnancies and improving working conditions for expectant mothers, including provisions for paid maternity leave and job protection.