Despite having one of the most liberal abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa, complications from induced abortion are the second leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana.
The sample is composed of patients with pregnancy termination complications in Ghana between June and July 2008. The majority of patients report having had a spontaneous abortion (75%;¬†n=439), while 17% (n=100) and 8% (n=46) report having had an induced abortion or an ectopic pregnancy, respectively. Factors associated with women in each of the three groups were explored using multinomial logistic regression.
When compared to women with spontaneous abortions, women with induced abortions were younger, poorer, more likely to report no religious affiliation, less likely to be married, more likely to report making the household decisions and more likely to fail to disclose this pregnancy to their partners. Within the induced abortion¬†subsample, failure to disclose the most recent pregnancy was associated with already having children and autonomous household decision making.
Identifying the individual and relationship characteristics of induced abortion patients is the first step toward targeted policies and programs aimed at reducing unsafe abortion in Ghana.