Women’s Lifetime Experiences with Induced Abortion in Turkey and Its Relationship to Contraceptive Use and Women’s Empowerment

Ozge Tuncalp, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Abortion has been legal in Turkey since 1983 and the abortion ratio declined from 4.5/1000 in 1988 to 2.5/1000 in 1998. Using 2003 DHS data, we examine whether women having an abortion in Turkey are more likely to be empowered and less traditional. All three of our scores were positively associated with having an abortion (p=0.001). After multivariate adjustment, the relationships between the empowerment scores and abortion were attenuated, except the social life score. The women who had a higher social life score were more likely to have had an abortion even after multivariable adjustment. Our data suggest that wealthier and more educated women who do not want a pregnancy resort to abortion, or have better access to abortion services than other segments of the population. Based on our measures, history of abortion is neither empowering nor disempowering for women in Turkey.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 5