Estimating abortion incidence in Burkina Faso using two methodologies

Type Journal Article - Studies in Family Planning
Title Estimating abortion incidence in Burkina Faso using two methodologies
Volume 42
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 147-154
Abortion is illegal in Burkina Faso except in cases of incest, rape, fetal defect, or when the woman’s
life or physical health is endangered. As a result, abortion procedures are often conducted illegally
and unsafely and measuring incidence proves difficult. We estimate incidence of abortion and
associated morbidity using two methodologies. The first is the Abortion Incidence Complications
Method (AICM), which uses information on women hospitalized for abortion-related complications
as well as health professionals’ assessments of the proportion of women who seek treatment for
complications from unsafe abortions. The second is the Anonymous Third Party Reporting (ATPR)
method, which entails surveying women about their confidantes’ abortions. We conclude that the
AICM yields a more accurate result. We estimate that 87,200 abortion procedures were carried out
in 2008, representing 25 for every 1,000 women aged 15–49. More than one in four procedures
resulted in complications treated at a health facility. The abortion rate estimated using the ATPR
approach was 72 percent of that estimated with the AICM. The ATPR method yields information on
the characteristics of the women who have abortions as well as the providers and methods they use.

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