Background: Despite liberal laws, abortions are a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in India.
Study Design: This study uses health provider data (N=2039) collected in¬†Bihar¬†and¬†Jharkhand¬†states, India, in 2004. Logistic regression models are fitted to identify correlates of providers’ practice of abortion services and intention to offer medical abortions.
Results: While a majority of respondents (63.2%) provide abortion services, only 2.9% currently provide medical abortions and 23.8% intend to provide medical abortions. Private rather than public clinic providers and female rather than male providers are more likely to offer abortion services and intend to provide medical abortions. Aspects related to medical abortion’s market demand, its safety, efficacy and perceived ease of delivery weigh more than patients’ rights and personal interests on providers’ decision to provide medical abortions.
Conclusion: This study enlarges the knowledge base on abortion service providers and offers recommendations for improving access to safe abortion services in India.