Abortion Seeking Behavior among Ghanaian Women: An Analysis of the 2007 Ghana Maternal Health Survey

Aparna Sundaram, Guttmacher Institute
Fatima Juarez, El Colegio de México

The gap between wanted and actual fertility in Ghana is high. Such high incidence of unwanted pregnancies leads women to seek abortions. Although Ghana has one of the most liberal abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of knowledge of the law combined with the stigma of abortion, forces many women to resort to unsafe abortion, which has adverse consequences on their health and often leads to death. Using the 2007 Ghana MHS we attempt to identify the socio-demographic characteristics of women who have unsafe abortions and compare them with women who go to trained providers. We will outline the abortion seeking behavior, describe the methods used for terminating a pregnancy, and examine the role of factors such as household wealth, the involvement of the partner, and the woman’s knowledge of abortion law. The results of this study will help inform policies that reduce unsafe abortions among those most at risk.

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Presented in Poster Session 3