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Abortion Incidence and Postabortion Care in Rwanda

Paulin Basinga, Ann M. Moore, Susheela D. Singh, Elizabeth E. Carlin, Francine Birungi and Fidele Ngabo
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 43, No. 1 (MARCH 2012), pp. 11-20
Published by: Population Council
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23409376
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Abortion Incidence and Postabortion Care in Rwanda
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Abstract

Abortion is illegal in Rwanda except when necessary to protect a woman's physical health or to save her life. Many women in Rwanda obtain unsafe abortions, and some experience health complications as a result. To estimate the incidence of induced abortion, we conducted a national sample survey of health facilities that provide postabortion care and a purposive sample survey of key informants knowledgeable about abortion conditions. We found that more than 16,700 women received care for complications resulting from induced abortion in Rwanda in 2009, or 7 per 1,000 women aged 15—44. Approximately 40 percent of abortions are estimated to lead to complications requiring treatment, but about a third of those who experienced a complication did not obtain treatment. Nationally, the estimated induced abortion rate is 25 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15—44, or approximately 60,000 abortions annually. An urgent need exists in Rwanda to address unmet need for contraception, to strengthen family planning services, to broaden access to legal abortion, and to improve postabortion care.

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