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An analysis of Demographic and Health Survey data provides indirect estimates of the prevalence of abortion in 21 developing countries by rearranging Bongaarts's proximate determinants model to allow calculation of the index of abor tion from the other principal proximate determinants of fertility (marriage, contraceptive use and postpartum insusceptibility to pregnancy), average total fecundity and total fertility. On average, abortion appears to have an influence on fertility simil ar to that of contraceptive use. This influence appears to be particularly strong in the four Latin American countries in the analysis, where abortion reduces fertility by 38-55%. In contrast, abortion's fertility-reducing effect is only 6-19% i n the Near East and 0-32% in Africa. In five countries for which two sets of DHS data are available, this reductive effect appears to have increased over time.
(International Family Planning Perspectives, 22:108-114 & 137, 1996)