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Cult Health Sex. 2012;14(8):849-62. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2012.700324. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Age matters: differential impact of service quality on contraceptive uptake among post-abortion clients in Kenya.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


This paper analyses the impact of high quality, user-friendly, comprehensive sliding-scale post-abortion services on clients' uptake of contraception in a Kenyan town. Data were drawn from detailed physician records in a private clinic that served 1080 post-abortion clients in 2006. All clients received confidential family planning counselling and were offered a complete range of contraceptives at no additional cost. One quarter of clients were below age 19. Prior to the abortion, no client aged 10-18 years reported having used contraception, as compared to 60% of clients aged 27-46 years. After the abortion and family planning counselling session, only 6% of clients aged 10-18 chose a method, as compared to 96% of clients aged 27-46, even though contraception was free, the provider strongly promoted family planning to everyone and all clients had just experienced an unwanted pregnancy. Significant predictors of contraceptive uptake post-abortion were: having a child, a previous termination, prior contraceptive use and being older than 21. These findings suggest that availability, affordability and youth-friendliness are not sufficient to overcome psycho-social barriers to contraceptive use for sexually-active young people in Kenya. To reduce unwanted pregnancies, more attention may be needed to developing youth-friendly communities that support responsible sexuality among adolescents.

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