Friday, January 22, 2016

Estimates of the Incidence of Induced Abortion & Consequences of Unsafe Abortion in Senegal

Abortion is highly restricted by law in Senegal. Although women seek care for abortion complications, no national estimate of abortion incidence exists.

Data on postabortion care and abortion in Senegal were collected in 2013 using surveys of a nationally representative sample of 168 health facilities that provide postabortion care and of 110 professionals knowledgeable about abortion service provision. Indirect estimation techniques were applied to the data to estimate the incidence of induced abortion in the country. Abortion rates and ratios were calculated for the nation and separately for the Dakar region and the rest of the country. The distribution of pregnancies by planning status and by outcome was estimated.

In 2012, an estimated 51,500 induced abortions were performed in Senegal, and 16,700 (32%) resulted in complications that were treated at health facilities. The estimated abortion rate was 17 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 and the abortion ratio was 10 per 100 live births. The rate was higher in Dakar (21 per 1,000) than in the rest of the country (16 per 1,000). Poor women were far more likely to experience abortion complications, and less likely to receive treatment for complications, than nonpoor women. About 31% of pregnancies were unintended, and 24% of unintended pregnancies (8% of all pregnancies) ended in abortion.

Unsafe abortion exacts a heavy toll on women in Senegal. Reducing the barriers to effective contraceptive use and ensuring access to postabortion care without the risk of legal consequences may reduce the incidence of and complications from unsafe abortion.

Below:  Estimated percentage distribution of abortions, by outcome, according to region and women’s characteristics, Senegal, 2012

Below:  Estimated percentage distribution of pregnancies, by planning status and outcome, Senegal, 2011–2012

Full article at:

By:  Gilda Sedghprincipal research scientistAmadou Hassane Syllastatistician and technical advisorJesse Philbinsenior research assistantSarah Keoghsenior research scientist, and Salif Ndiayedirector
Guttmacher Institute, New York.

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