Comparison of Cohort Abortion among Those Aged 20 and over in Finland
Heini E. Väisänen, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
UN (1994) called upon reducing abortions by providing universal access to family planning, but it remains unclear whether universal access alone reduces socioeconomic differences in abortion behaviour. Low socioeconomic status (SES), low education and high opportunity costs are associated with higher risk of abortion, but studies often suffer from underreporting of abortions, and lack longitudinal data. This study explores whether the association between socioeconomic characteristics and abortion changed across cohorts using a unique longitudinal set of Finnish register data of women aged 20+ born in 1955-59, 1965-69 and 1975-79. No studies have applied cohort perspective in this context before. Discrete-time event-history analysis showed that although SES had a negative and income a small positive association with risk of abortion, education was the driving force of socioeconomic differences. The association between low education and higher risk pertained across cohorts despite improved access to family planning, indicating that targeted policies are needed.