Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ilene Speizer

Second Advisor

Dr. Tilahun Adera


Objective: Induced abortions occur in every country in the world. However sixty percent of the world's women live in countries where abortion is illegal. 19 million pregnancies end in unsafe and/or illegal abortions. Annually, 68,000 women die from unsafe abortions. Legal or not, unsafe abortion is one of the great neglected problems of health care in developing countries like Haiti and is a serious concern to women during their reproductive lives. Methods: The data for this study was collected from youth centers (ages 15-24) and used to estimate percentage distributions of abortion ratios by selected characteristics of women, particularly age at first pregnancy, education levels, relationship status with partner and history of contraception use. Results: 23.9 abortions were reported for every 100 pregnancies. Females with higher education andlor currently students were 3 times more likely to have had an abortion than less educated or non-student females. Decreases in relationship stability, specifically single females, increased the risk for abortion. Increased number of pregnancies significantly increased the risk of ever having had an abortion (three or more pregnancies increases risk 10 fold). Only 12.7% reported use of modern contraception prior to last pregnancy with 71.4% stating that their last pregnancy was not wanted. Conclusion: Prevalence of induced abortion is relatively high in this population specifically occurring among women who are single, more educated, and students. Increased number of pregnancies dramatically increases the risk for abortions. This implies that these females are using abortion as a way to control fertility.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Epidemiology Commons