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Reprod Health. 2016 Mar 11;13:23. doi: 10.1186/s12978-016-0129-9.

Abortion experiences among Zanzibari women: a chain-referral sampling study.

Author information

1
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA. norris.570@osu.edu.
2
Present address: College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, 326 Cunz Hall, 1841 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH, 43210-1351, USA. norris.570@osu.edu.
3
Yale College Charles P. Howland Fellow, 74 High Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA.
4
Present address: Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall CB#7435, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
5
Ibis Reproductive Health, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA, 94612, USA.
6
Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
7
African Union Commission, Department of Medical Services, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
8
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, induced abortion is illegal but common, and fewer than 12% of married reproductive-aged women use modern contraception. As part of a multi-method study about contraception and consequences of unwanted pregnancies, the objective of this study was to understand the experiences of Zanzibari women who terminated pregnancies.

METHODS:

The cross-sectional study was set in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Participants were a community-based sample of women who had terminated pregnancies. We carried out semi-structured interviews with 45 women recruited via chain-referral sampling. We report the characteristics of women who have had abortions, the reasons they had abortions, and the methods used to terminate their pregnancies.

RESULTS:

Women in Zanzibar terminate pregnancies that are unwanted for a range of reasons, at various points in their reproductive lives, and using multiple methods. While clinical methods were most effective, nearly half of our participants successfully terminated a pregnancy using non-clinical methods and very few had complications requiring post abortion care (PAC).

CONCLUSIONS:

Even in settings where abortion is illegal, some women experience illegal abortions without adverse health consequences, what we might call 'safer' unsafe abortions; these kinds of abortion experiences can be missed in studies about abortion conducted among women seeking PAC in hospitals.

KEYWORDS:

Abortion; Chain-referral sampling; Post abortion care; Pregnancy; Reproductive health; Zanzibar

PMID:
26969305
PMCID:
PMC4788822
DOI:
10.1186/s12978-016-0129-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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