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Soc Sci Med. 1990;31(4):445-53.

Characteristics of women having abortion in China.

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UCLA School of Public Health 90024.


A pre-coded, closed response questionnaire was administered to women at abortion clinic sites in August 1985. The convenience sample was comprised of 1200 women, 200 samples in both Chengdu and the Lianshan Yi Autonomous Region in Sichuan Province, 400 in Nanjing and Jiangsu Province, and 400 in the municipality of Shanghai. The women were interviewed by physicians as part of the women's intake medical history. The sample yielded 574 respondents who were urban and 624 who were rural. The number of previous abortions reported ranged from 0 to 5. Nearly half of the abortion recipients had had at least one prior abortion and 18% had had two or more prior abortions. Education, age, marriage duration and residence have apparent effect on abortion order. The urban respondents reported an average of 1.08 children vs 1.60 children for the rural respondents. Approximately 72% of the respondents claimed to have been using a contraceptive method at the time they became pregnant. The most commonly used method was the IUD (41.6%), followed by the pill (21.3%) and the condom only (16.5%). Residence appeared to be the greatest factor determining the type of contraceptive methods. The data presented here are limited and cannot be generalized to the larger population. However, they do shed some light on the contraception characteristics of a group of women who undergo abortion procedures in China. Their response to questions to contracepting behavior prior to abortion suggests that the problem, in part, is behavioral. For example after the expulsion of the IUD, no other method was substituted to avert pregnancy. In order to alleviate the problem of contraceptive failure, and subsequent abortion, there are policy as well as training and education implications for the state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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