Variations in Contraceptive Use among Indigenous Women of South America
Emily Vala-Haynes, University of Pennsylvania
Claudia Valeggia, University of Pennsylvania
While ethnographic studies on indigenous groups in Latin America abound, there remains a dearth of quantitative research on the reproductive practices of indigenous populations. In this study we examine variation in the use of contraceptives among indigenous women in four South American countries. Using three waves of data from a unique longitudinal study of 240 Toba women in Northwestern Argentina, collected in 1999, 2006, and 2011, we assess the impact of a 2002 law providing free contraception for all Argentines in this high fertility population. Additionally, we use Demographic Health Surveys from Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru to provide context and background for the Toba study. Preliminary results show contraceptive use was indeed more prevalent in the two recent waves compared to the 1999 wave. We expect indigenous women in urban, peri-urban, and rural regions to have varying degrees of contraceptive use due to differences in accessibility and social networks.