The Estimated Incidence of Induced Abortion in Ethiopia, 2008

Susheela D. Singh, Guttmacher Institute
Tamara Fetters, Ipas
Hailemichael Gebreselassie, Ipas
Ahmed Abdella, Addis Ababa University
Yirgu Gebrehiwot, Addis Ababa University
Solomon Kumbi Hawas, Addis Ababa University
Suzette Audam, Guttmacher Institute

After recent liberalizations in Ethiopia’s abortion law, women have some access to legal abortion. Since no national study of abortion incidence exists, the impact of the law change on both legal and unsafe abortion should be documented. Data from a 2007-2008 nationally representative sample of 344 health facilities providing abortion and postabortion services and a survey of 80 health professionals were used to indirectly estimate annual abortion incidence, rates and ratios nationally and regionally. In 2008 an estimated 382,500 induced abortions were performed in Ethiopia, including 103,000 legal procedures. The annual abortion rate was 23 per 1,000 women age 15–44 and there were 13 abortions per 100 births. Unsafe abortion is still prevalent and exacts a heavy toll on women in Ethiopia. To improve women’s health, increased access to contraceptive care and safe abortion services must be provided to all women who need them.

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Presented in Session 172: Abortion in Societies with Different Abortion Laws