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Evaluation of reported induced abortion in Bangladesh: Evidence from the recent DHS

Mohammad Amirul Islam, MSc1, Sabu S. Padmadas, PhD1, and Mohammad Kabir, PhD2. (1) Division of Social Statistics, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, UK, Highfield, Southampton, SO 17 1BJ, Southampton, United Kingdom, 0044 023 8055 4088, islam@socsci.soton.ac.uk, (2) Department of Statistics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Background Abortion has long been recognized as one of the important proximate determinants of fertility. Unless for clinical reasons, induced abortion is considered illegal in many countries including Bangladesh. Recent national-level data in Bangladesh indicate an increase in the reported induced abortions that were done primarily for medical reasons during pregnancy.

Objectives The goals of this article are three-fold: 1) to compare the trends in reported induced abortion in Bangladesh based on three successive rounds of DHS and further examine the characteristics of women who have reported induced abortion, 2) to decompose the effects of abortion to fertility using the Bongaarts’ model and 3) to examine the level of under-reporting.

Data and Methods We used the Bangladesh DHS conducted during 1993-94, 1996-97 and 1999-2000. Binary logistic regression models were used to examine the associations of characteristics with reported induced abortions.

Results The recent DHS figures for the five years prior to survey showed that 3.7% of currently married women reported induced abortion. The average age of performing an abortion was about 29 years. About 20% of respondents who reported abortion were non-users of family planning. More than three-fifth who reported induced abortions have had made their family planning decisions jointly with partners. The decomposition results suggest that 6% of total fertility were explained by reported induced abortions. Under-reporting was also found considerably high.

Conclusions Program efforts should monitor early development of pregnancy and encourage couples to use spacing methods in order to reduce the burden of unnecessary abortions in Bangladesh.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Abortion,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

U.S. and International Perspectives on Abortion: Poster Session

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA