Methodological Advances in Survey-Based Abortion Measurement: Promising Findings From Nigeria, India, and Cote d’Ivoire

Suzanne Bell , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Mridula Shankar, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Elizabeth F. Omoluabi, Centre for Research Evaluation Resources and Development (CRERD)
Anoop Khanna, Indian Institute of Health Management (IIHMR)
M. Dore Desire Emmanual, Institut National de la Statistique, Côte d'Ivoire
Funmilola OlaOlorun, University of Ibadan
Danish Ahmed, Indian Institute of Health Management (IIHMR)
Caroline Moreau, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)

Monitoring abortion rates is highly relevant for demographic and public health considerations, yet its estimation is fraught with uncertainty due to lack of effective national service statistics and survey bias. We aim to estimate the one-year incidence of induced abortion in Nigeria, Rajasthan, India, and Cote d’Ivoire using a modified version of prior social network based indirect abortion measurement methodologies. In the survey, respondents reported separately on their closest confidantes’ experiences with pregnancy removal and period regulation in a population-based survey. We made adjustments to account for observed sources of bias. Overall, confidante one-year incidence of pregnancy removal appeared more valid than respondent incidences in all three countries; the same was true when examining estimates that included period regulation. Findings suggest this approach may present an opportunity to address some abortion related data deficiencies and underestimation challenges in low- and middle-income countries, particularly where abortion is legally and socially restricted.

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 Presented in Session 35. Abortion