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Gac Sanit. 2009 Dec;23 Suppl 1:57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2009.09.012. Epub 2009 Nov 25.

Recourse to induced abortion in Spain: profiling of users and the influence of migrant populations.

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Area de Epidemiología, Dirección General de Salud Pública, Conselleria de Sanitat, Valencia, Spain.



Social vulnerability implies a higher risk of induced abortion (IA). Immigrant status could be an additional factor. The objective was to identify the patterns surrounding which women resort to IAs, and to study the relationship between socio-economic and health system factors. Another aim was to determine the relationship between the patterns identified and the immigrant's country.


A cross-sectional study was performed including all IAs notified during 2006 on women residing in three Spanish autonomous communities (the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Comunitat Valenciana). We used sociodemographic, nationality and related variables, reproductive history and use of health services. A Categorical Principal Component Analysis was used to summarize the information and to identify profiles.


More than a third of IAs were performed on non-Spanish women. Four dimensions have been determined that define the profile of women resorting to IAs: age, reproductive history and marital status; type of health services used; social level; and earlier or late IA and its repetitive use. Age and related factors were important determinants. Economic status and knowledge of the health system were related to access to contraception and IA information. Spanish, Western European and South American women had a higher social level than Romanian and African women. Late IA use and a lower recurrence characterised Asian, North African and Spanish women.


Differences on IA use between groups of different women seem to be related to vulnerability (economic, social, knowledge and use of healthcare services). There is a different situation among immigrants of differing nationalities.

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