Many of you may already have seen the first article in our September issue, "The Cost of Postabortion Care and Legal Abortion in Colombia," (click here for the news release), by Elena Prada, Isaac Maddow-Zimet and Fatima Juarez.



According to "Contraception and Abortion in a Low-Fertility Setting: The Role of Seasonal Migration," by Arusyak Sevoyan of the University of Adelaide, Australia, et al., the odds of an Armenian woman's pregnancy ending in abortion are linked to her household's economic well-being, but not to her husband's migration status. Using data from two surveys among married women aged 18–45 in rural areas—one conducted in 2005 and another in 2007—the researchers found that with increased household wealth, the likelihood of modern contraceptive use rose among women with a nonmigrant husband, but decreased slightly among women with a migrant husband. The authors comment that there is a great need for programs that promote the benefits of using modern contraceptives rather than abortion for fertility control.


According to "Reducing Unmet Need by Supporting Women with Met Need," by Anrudh K. Jain of the Population Council, et al., women who stopped using modern contraceptives for a range of reasons despite wanting to have no more children or to delay having a child accounted for 38% of unmet need in 34 countries surveyed. Data on married women from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 2005 and 2010 were used to estimate how much the discontinuation of method use contributed to unmet need at the time of the survey and would contribute in the future. The study's authors believe unmet need could be reduced by addressing women's reasons for discontinuation of modern methods, thus encouraging current users to continue with the same or another method and encouraging past users to resume use.


According to "Effectiveness of a Behavior Change Communication Intervention to Improve Knowledge and Perceptions About Abortion in Bihar and Jharkhand, India," by Sushanta K. Banerjee at Ipas India, et al., women in districts where public awareness campaigns had been conducted were significantly more likely to know that abortion is legal and where to obtain safe abortion services than women in districts where no intervention had occurred. Using data from household surveys administered to separate samples of rural, married women aged 15–49 in 2008 and in 2010, the study also found a greater increase in women's viewing themselves as capable of making choices about family planning and abortion in districts where interventions had occurred. The authors recommend using multiple messages, in different formats, when trying to improve knowledge and perceptions about stigmatized health issues such as abortion.


According to "Risk and Protective Correlates of Young Women's First Sexual Experiences in Rakai, Uganda," by Kristin N. Mmari of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health et al., young women who did not live with both parents at age 11 or 12 were more likely than those who did to have had sex before age 15 and to have undergone sexual coercion at first sex. Using data from a study of sexually experienced females aged 15–24, the researchers also found that among those who had not been coerced at first sex, young women whose mother had some secondary education and whose female caregiver did not consume alcohol were more likely to have used a condom at first sex. The authors recommend that reproductive health interventions target both adolescents and their parents to delay the start of adolescent sexual activity, prevent sexual coercion and encourage condom use.


Unmet Need for Contraceptives in Developing World Has Declined, but Remains High in Some Countries

Literature Review Identifies Under-Researched Topics in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Home-Based Services May Increase HIV Testing in Rural South Africa

Intimate Partner Violence Linked to HIV Infection Among Ugandan Women

Characteristics Linked to Sexual Debut Vary Across Sub-Saharan Africa