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Predictors of Unsafe Induced Abortion among Women in Ghana
Authors: Michael Boah, Stephen Bordotsiah, and Saadogrmeh Kuurdong
Source: Journal of Pregnancy, 2019(Article ID 9253650): 1-8; DOI: 10.1155/2019/9253650
Topic(s): Abortion
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2019
Abstract: Background. Unsafe induced abortion is a major contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality in Ghana. Objective. This study aimed to explore the predictors of unsafe induced abortion among women in Ghana. Methods. The study used data from the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey. The association between women’s sociodemographic, obstetric characteristics, and unsafe induced abortion was explored using logistic regression. The analysis involved a weighted sample of 1880 women aged 15-49 years who induced abortion in the period 2012-2017. Analysis was carried out using STATA/IC version 15.0. Statistical significance was set at p <0.05. Results. Of the 1880 women, 64.1% (CI: 60.97-67.05) had an unsafe induced abortion. At the univariate level, older women (35-49 years) (odds ratio=0.50, 95% CI: 0.28-0.89) and married women (odds ratio=0.61, 95% CI:0.44-0.85) were less likely to have an unsafe induced abortion while women who did not pay for abortion service (odds ratio=4.44, 95% CI: 2.24-8.80), who had no correct knowledge of the fertile period (odds ratio =1.47, 95% CI: 1.10-1.95), who did not know the legal status of abortion in Ghana (odds ratio =2.50, 95% CI: 1.68-3.72) and who had no media exposure (odds ratio =1.34, 95% CI: 1.04-1.73) had increased odds for an unsafe induced abortion. At the multivariable level, woman’s age, payment for abortion services, and knowledge of the legal status of abortion in Ghana were predictors of unsafe induced abortion. Conclusion. Induced abortion is a universal practice among women. However, unsafe abortion rate in Ghana is high and remains an issue of public health concern. We recommend that contraceptives and safe abortion services should be made available and easily accessible to women who need these services to reduce unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion rates, respectively, in the context of women’s health. Also, awareness has to be intensified on abortion legislation in Ghana to reduce the stigma associated with abortion care seeking.