Indirect Estimation of Induced Abortion and Its Determinants in Sub-Saharan Africa

Heini E. Vaisanen , University of Southampton
Jason Hilton, University of Southampton

There is a lack of international comparisons of abortion levels and age-specific abortion rates. This study evaluates two methods of indirect estimation of abortion incidence by age group and applies them using Demographic and Health Surveys from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda. The revised residual method rearranges Bongaarts’ proximate determinants of fertility equation leaving the index of abortion on the left using the revised Bongaarts (2015) method, which produces age-specific abortion rates. The ‘Classification Method’ groups unclassified pregnancy termination data into induced or spontaneous abortions using WHO’s (1996) protocol. The absolute levels of abortion from the revised residual method were sensitive to bias in the other indices measured. The classification method failed to classify most terminations into either category. Moreover, terminations were likely underreported. We show that the methods of indirect measurement of abortion need to be context-specific and are subject to bias.

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 Presented in Session 35. Abortion