Determinants of Abortion Decision in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


Abortion continues to be an issue for medical, legal and ethical grounds. Many are hard to say that the desire to abort by a woman is mainly brought by unintended pregnancies. Unintended pregnancy most of the time leads to induced abortion. People also claim that induced abortion is one of the major causes of maternal mortality. But the relationship is not as such linear. There are other more factors to intervene. Thus this paper tried to investigate how a woman reaches a decision of abortion in Addis Ababa with a view of identifying policy options that will assist in reducing the high deaths associated with abortion. The study utilized a facility based study and was conducted from February to Mid-March 2012 in seven selected service providers in Addis Ababa. The model the study used is developed from the Economic theory of Demand and is carried out using a simple pro bit regression. Abortion decision is modeled as a function of the full price of the abortion and the respondent's characteristics. This is based on the assumption that abortion is a posterior decision-the decision by a woman who is pregnant not to have the child. The study reveals that the probability that a pregnant woman chooses an aboltion is dependent on prices and cost factors. The opportunity cost of child bearing is found to be positively associated with the demand for abortion. As the associated costs of pregnancies (child delivery and child rearing) increases abortion decision increases. The opportunity cost of abortion (education and unemployment) was found to be significant in some age groups. Among the demographic characteristics marital status is found to be a significant in all age groups where as age of women is not found to determine the probability of abortion in all cases. Taste of abortion (religion and religiosity) is found to be a significant determinant factor of the probability of abortion. Being Catholic/Protestant and being very religious is also found to be important determinant factor of abortion. Direct price of abortion and Contraceptive knowledge and practice are found to be important determinants for aboltion in all age groups. Thus, the study proposed that various policy options aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies should be set and faithfully implemented. In addition, since nearly half of those who demand for abortion have post abortion complications, the availability of post abortion services in various health facilities can help to prevent unnecessary maternal deaths as a result of these complications.



Aboltion Decision