Safe vs. Unsafe Pregnancy Termination in Matlab, Bangladesh: Trends and Correlates

Julie DaVanzo, RAND Corporation
Mizanur Rahman, MEASURE Evaluation

We estimate logistic and multinomial logistic regressions on data on 122,691 pregnancies in Matlab, Bangladesh, between 1989 and 2008 to assess factors affecting whether women terminate pregnancies (1) by menstrual regulation or D&C, (2) by less safe methods, or (3) do not terminate them. 4.3% of pregnancies were voluntarily terminated; 67% of terminations were by safer methods, 33% by less safe means. The proportion of pregnancies voluntarily terminated increased 1989-2008, due entirely to increased use of safer methods; use of less safe methods decreased absolutely as well as relatively. If pregnant, women < age 18 and those 25+ are more likely than those 18-24 to terminate their pregnancies. If they terminate, older women are relatively more likely to use a safer method compared to younger women. Termination is more likely for women with some education, due entirely to their greater use of safer termination methods.

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Presented in Session 141: Family Planning and Reproductive Health in the Asian Context