Determinants of Voluntary Abortion in South Africa, 2011

Nicole De Wet, University of the Witwatersrand

Abortion rates are increasing all around the world, especially for young women. The negative consequences of illegal abortion include involuntary sterility and maternal mortality. In South Africa, abortions before the 20th week of gestation are legal. The rationale behind this is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the risks associated with illegal abortions in the country. Research on voluntary abortions in South Africa, has been affected by the limited analysis of quantitative, national data.There is need to identify the national socioeconomic and demographic determinants of women who have voluntary abortions in South Africa. In doing so, policies can be updated with relevant information as to who is voluntarily choosing abortions and to serve as a guide for more in-depth qualitative studies on the reasons for choosing abortion in the country. The nationally representative, General Household Survey, 2011 is used. This study hypothesizes that voluntary abortion is associated with lower socioeconomic status.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health