Contraception matters: two approaches to analyzing evidence of the abortion decline in Georgia

Type Journal Article - Contraception
Title Contraception matters: two approaches to analyzing evidence of the abortion decline in Georgia
Volume 36
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
CONTEXT: The abortion rate in the republic of Georgia is the highest documented in the world. Analyses using reliable data are needed to inform programs for preventing unintended pregnancy and abortion. METHODS: Data from two large national household surveys conducted in 1999 and 2005 were used to assess the relationship between contraceptive use and abortion. Two analytic approaches were used. First, abortion rates were estimated for three subgroups: users of modern contraceptives, users of traditional contraceptives and nonusers of contraceptives. A decomposition method was then used to estimate the proportions of change in abortion rates that were due to changes in contraceptive use and to changes in use- and nonuse-specific abortion rates. Second, a methodology developed by Westoff was used to examine abortion rates among contraceptive users and among nonusers with differing risks of unintended pregnancy. RESULTS: According to data from the 60 months before each survey, contraceptive prevalence among married women increased by 23% (from 39% to 48%) and the marital abortion rate declined by 15% (from 203 to 172 abortions per 1,000 woman-years) between 1999 and 2005. Both approaches showed that nonuse of any method was the principal determinant of the high unintended pregnancy rate and that the increase in use of modern contraceptives was a significant contributor to the recent drop in abortion (explaining 54% of the decline, according to the decomposition analysis). CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to increase availability and use of modern family planning methods in Georgia should lead to a direct and measurable decline in the abortion rate.

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