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The Significance of Induced Abortion in Kisii, Nyanza Region, Kenya

In countries where abortion remains illegal, its incidence, its influence on fertility, and the circumstances that surround the practice remain unclear and under-researched. The aim of this study is to bring greater clarity and rigour to the above three elements in the Kisii district of Kenya. To do this, an adapted proximate determinants model and a framework based on the influence of the social context on women’s experiences were used. The first provided a quantitative measure of the role of abortion on fertility levels, and the second illuminated the social and personal elements surrounding the practice. The methods used included: the Abortion Incidence Complications Method to estimate the total abortion rate for inclusion into the Proximate Determinants model; interviews; and focus group discussions. The latter two methods stressed social and personal conditions. Other sources of data were recent demographic and health surveys. Findings indicated that the incidence of abortion in the Kisii district was not significant in a technical sense in that its inhibiting effect on fertility was low. However, its practice and social significance indicated a group of women grappling with prevailing religious and official attitudes, inefficiencies in contraceptive provision and the desire to further their education. These findings reinforce the report on the United Nations Fifth Millennium Development Goal which indicates that the maternal health of women in the developing world remains considerably below target.

More information

  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Country/Region: Kenya
  • Accessible: Yes
  • Source: Southern African Journal of Demography. January 2014, Volume 15, Issue 1: Pages 133-163
  • Link: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/soutafrijourdemo.15.1.133.pdf
  • Language: English
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2014 Author(s)   Onsongo Francis, Webb Nigel In Article Key words