Abortion and Contraception in a Low Fertility Setting: The Role of Seasonal Labor Migration

Arusyak Sevoyan, Arizona State University

Despite increased availability of contraception, abortion remains a primary form of fertility regulation in much of the former Soviet Union. At the same time, many of post-Soviet countries continue to have high levels of seasonal international labor migration. This study examines the role of male seasonal labor migration in shaping pregnancy outcomes among non-migrant women in rural Armenia, a high out-migration, high abortion, low contraception, and low fertility setting. Fitting discrete-time logit models to recent survey data the study compares probability of having a pregnancy and of a pregnancy being terminated in abortion between left-behind partners of migrants and non-migrants. The results show no difference in the probability of getting pregnant but a higher likelihood of pregnancy termination among migrants’ partners. These results are combined with the results of the analyses of current contraceptive use, reproductive intentions, and lifetime parity to explain the relationship between migration, fertility, abortion, and contraception.

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Presented in Poster Session 6