Abortion Incidence in Rwanda

Paulin Basinga, Tulane University
Ann M. Moore, Guttmacher Institute
Susheela D. Singh, Guttmacher Institute
Suzette Audam, Guttmacher Institute
Liz Carlin, Guttmacher Institute
Francine Birungi, National University of Rwanda
Fidele Ngabo, Ministry of Health, Rwanda

Abortion is highly restricted by law in Rwanda. With unmet demand for contraception among married women standing at 38% (RDHS 2005), the role that induced abortion plays in reducing unwanted childbearing and its impact on women's health has been unknown until now. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we conducted a study to measure abortion incidence in Rwanda in 2009 based on surveys of a national sample of public and private health facilities (n=166), and a purposive sample of health professionals knowledgeable about abortion (n=56). In addition to estimating abortion incidence, we also document the number of women treated for post-abortion complications and the proportion who received treatment among all women having abortions. These data will serve as a baseline measure of abortion incidence and will provide information that is essential for improving policies and programs regarding unsafe abortion, unintended pregnancy, and unmet need for contraception.

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Presented in Session 111: Abortion II