Women’s Experiences with Safe and Unsafe Methods of Inducing Abortions in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Adriana A. Biney, University of Ghana

Eleven percent of maternal deaths in Ghana result from unsafe induced abortions. The majority of abortion complications arise from incomplete terminations, suggesting that unsafe methods are regularly used by women. A qualitative methodology was used to explore factors regarding methods utilized by women with induced abortion experiences in Accra, Ghana. Results suggest that women who used safe methods suffered no complications, while those who performed the abortions “at home” were prone to experience pain and incomplete abortions. Women’s method choices were related to their desperation to terminate the pregnancy, their views about unsafe abortions and being forced by others to use that method. The stigma, desperation, lack of finances as well as just a preference to perform abortions themselves may be reasons that lean women toward performing abortions “at home”. This suggests a shift to also focus on interventions that prevent unintended pregnancies to just providing safe abortion care.

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Presented in Poster Session 4