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Understanding women's provider choice for induced abortion in Turkey
Authors: Didem Pekkurnaz, Zeynep Guldem Okem, and Mehmet Cakar
Source: Health Policy, DOI:
Topic(s): Abortion
Service utilization
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2021
Abstract: In Turkey, women gained free access to induced abortion from public facilities through the legalization of abortion in 1983. However, due to unmet need and abortion stigma, women use predominantly private services. The political discourse on anti-abortion in the past decade has triggered a diminishing trend in public provision. This runs against both the 1983 Law and the healthcare reforms initiated in 2003, which aimed at universal access to health services. This study investigates the socioeconomic characteristics of women affecting the utilization of public services for induced abortion. Using "Turkey Demographic and Health Survey 2013", the results of Probit models indicate that women who were young, unmarried, wealthier and whose abortion decisions were made by themselves or their spouses were less likely to choose the public services for induced abortion. Regional differences in the utilization of public sector were also observed. Findings indicate a need to ensure and widen women's access to abortion nationwide; both at the hospital and outpatient level. Health education programs including family planning should give special emphasis to young, single and socioeconomically disadvantaged women who are more prone to apply for unsafe abortion when access to public and/or private sector is limited. A transparent referral system should be designed to timely direct women to abortion services.