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Knowledge, attitude, and practice of abortion in Xai-Xai communities, Mozambique

Luc VanderVeken, Pathfinder International
Julio Pacca, Pathfinder International
Ana Jacinto, Pathfinder International
Mizanur Rahman, Pathfinder International

A community survey of about 400 women in selected Xai-Xai communities in 2006 indicates that abortion is highly prevalent, about 20% women had had an abortion in their lifetime, and 40% reported that they know someone who also had an abortion. Yet, talking about abortion is avoided in the community because it is still considered a sin and a “dirty topic.” Lack of family planning was the single biggest reason for abortion followed by “health reasons.” Misconceptions include women’s inability to regain childbearing capacity following an abortion. About two-thirds of women who had an abortion said that it was performed by medically trained providers. However, about 50% abortion-seekers reported complications, from mild to severe. About 25% women who had an abortion faced stigma-related familial and/or social problems. Based on the findings, counseling information for community workers and health providers was enriched, and policy dialogues and advocacy strategies were strengthened.

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Presented in Session 46: Reproductive health rights and choices