Determinants of induced abortion: results of a qualitative study

Determinants of induced abortion: results of a qualitative


S. Cali, S.D. Torun, Z. Kursun, D. Save

Department of Public Health, Marmara University School of

Medicine, Turkey

Introduction: In Turkey since from two decades ago, it is

possible to have an induced abortion in case of contraceptive failure, unwanted

pregnancies or medical contraindications. According to the act on Pregnancy

Termination, all women aged 18 years or older are allowed for pregnancy

termination legally. This intervention can be performed both in a public

hospital before the end of 10th gestational week. Married couples should decided

together and a signed form is asked from the husband if a women want to have

induced abortion. Although modern methods are available to a great extent

considerable high proportion of unwanted pregnancies is assumed to be due to

lack of modern method use.

Aims and methods: This study was carried out to define

the characteristics of 42 women who had induced abortion in private or public

clinics and to explore the reasons of induced abortion by in-depth interviews in


Results: The age of the women varied between 20–48 and

there were women from all educational status from illiterates to university

graduates. Amongst all women %82 had official and 11% had religious weddings

while 7% were single. Of the participants 31% were not using any contraceptive

methods while 38% were using withdrawal. The number of women who used modern

methods were 13 (seven condoms, one intra- uterine device, three oral

contraceptives and one inject able progesterone). The leading reasons for not

using any method were as follows: Lack of knowledge or awareness about medical

methods of women and/or partners, medical contraindications against all methods.

The causes of induced abortion mainly phrased as economical difficulties of

bringing up children. Two women believed that they would not get pregnant: one

because she was in menopause and another because she was told by her doctor that

she would not get pregnant after abortion. One woman got pregnant at her first

sexual intercourse, one because she got sexual intercourse with her husband

again after separation. Another woman had abortion because she had desired to

have a child while her husband did not. In most of the cases couples decided to

have pregnancy termination together but in two cases women had taken decision

individually. Women usually expressed their appreciation of having an

opportunity to get rid of unwanted pregnancy while couple of them thinks that

induced abortion was sin.

Conclusion: Although contraceptive methods are widely

available there are still need for public education and medical staff to prevent

unwanted pregnancies.

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