The Alan Guttmacher Institute: News Release

Susan Tew/Chris Kirchgaessner


Despite variations in the legality and availability of abortion worldwide, some women in all demographic and socioeconomic subgroups will obtain an abortion when faced with an unintended pregnancy, according to findings reported in "Characteristics of Women Who Obtain Induced Abortion: A Worldwide Review." The analysis, by Akinrinola Bankole, Susheela Singh and Taylor Haas of The Alan Guttmacher Institute, used data from government statistics, nationally representative sample surveys and regional sources to examine measures of abortion by selected characteristics of women and to present comparisons within and across countries.

According to the analysis, published in the June 1999 issue of International Family Planning Perspectives, the Institute's quarterly, peer-reviewed journal, whether women terminate unintended pregnancies is likely to be determined by their background characteristics (age, marital status and parity), as well as characteristics that reflect and influence their values, attitudes and motivation to prevent an unintended birth (education, place of residence, religion, and race or ethnicity). Key findings include the following:

The authors conclude that their findings on "the extent to which abortion is obtained by women of all socioeconomic and demographic characteristics document[s] the universality of women's need for abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy."

The Alan Guttmacher a nonprofit organization focused on reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

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