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Factors Associated with Reporting a History of Induced Abortion among Adolescent Girls in Ghana during 2012-2017
Authors: Dominic Achinkok and Michael Boah
Source: International Journal of Research and Reports in Gynaecology, Volume 4, Issue 2
Topic(s): Abortion
Unintended pregnancy
Country: Africa
Published: JUN 2021
Abstract: Aims: Adolescent girls are misinformed about safe sex, contraception, and lack access to modern contraceptive methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. This study sought to explore the factors associated with reporting a history of abortion among sexually active adolescent girls in Ghana during 2012-2017. Study design: A cross-sectional study Place and duration of study: This study was conducted in Ghana in April, 2020 Methodology: We analyzed a nationally representative sample of 1,902 sexually active adolescent girls aged 15-19 years. The study relied on secondary data from the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey. The Chi-square (?2) test and survey multivariable logistic regression were performed to determine the association between selected demographic and reproductive characteristics of the adolescents and reporting a history of abortion during 2012-2017. Results: Of the 1,902 adolescent girls, 146 (7.68%; 95% CI: 6.19-9.53) reported a history of abortion over the study period. The findings also showed that 70.5% of the abortions were unsafely performed. The current use of contraception among the sample was low (26.6%). In multivariable analysis, the odds of reporting a history of abortion significantly decreased with an increase in the age at first sexual intercourse (AOR=0.79; 95% CI: 0.68-0.91), but significantly increased with being a Christian (AOR=4.57; 95% CI: 1.76-11.90) and knowing the ovulation period (AOR=2.24; 95% CI: 1.09-4.63). Conclusion: Reporting a history of abortion among adolescent girls in Ghana was relatively low. However, more than two-thirds of these abortions were unsafely performed. The early provision of information on sexuality, provision of adolescent-friendly reproductive health services, as well as access to safe abortion services, may reduce unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions among adolescent girls in Ghana.