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Estimated Levels of Induced Abortion in Six Latin American Countries

Susheela Singh and Deirdre Wulf
International Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 4-13
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2133331
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2133331
Page Count: 10
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Estimated Levels of Induced Abortion in Six Latin American Countries
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Abstract

In countries where abortion is illegal, a range of approximate levels of induced abortion can be calculated from data on the number of women hospitalized for treatment of abortion complications, after correcting for underreporting and misreporting and adjusting to eliminate spontaneous abortions. An estimated 550,000 women are hospitalized each year as a result of complications from induced abortion in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru. About 2.8 million abortions are estimated to occur in these countries annually when women not hospitalized as a result of induced abortion are taken into account. If the situation in the six countries is assumed to be typical of the entire region, then about 800,000 women are probably hospitalized because of complications of induced abortion in Latin America in a given year, and an estimated four million abortions take place. The abortion rate most likely ranges from 23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-49 in Mexico to 52 per 1,000 in Peru, and the absolute number ranges from 82,000 in the Dominican Republic to 1.4 million in Brazil. From 17% of pregnancies in Mexico to 35% in Chile are estimated to end in induced abortion.

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