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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


FONT-RIBERA, Laia et al. Determinants of induced abortion delay. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.5, pp.415-419. ISSN 0213-9111.

Background: In induced abortion, the method, the risk of complications and the economic cost of the abortion are determined by gestational age. The aim of this study was to describe the determinants of induced abortion delay until the second trimester of pregnancy in Barcelona. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of induced abortions due to the physical or mental health of the woman (Barcelona, 2004-2005; N=9,175). The city's induced abortion register provided data on gestational age at abortion (dependent variable), educational level, age, cohabitation with the partner, number of children previous abortions, and type of center. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) were calculated with log-binomial regression models. Results: A total of 7.7% of induced abortions were second-trimester abortions and 99.3% were performed in private centers. Compared with women with a university education, those with primary education or less had an aPR of 1.8 (95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 1.4-2.2) of delaying the abortion until the second trimester. A higher proportion of second-trimester abortions were also recorded in women aged less than 18 years old (aPR=2.6; 95%CI: 2.0-3.4), women not cohabiting with their partners (aRP=1.4; 95% CI: 1.2-1.6) and in public centers (aPR=2.8; 95% CI: 2.2-3.7). No differences were found in induced abortion delay among women with previous abortions and those without. Conclusion: Induced abortion delay until the second trimester of pregnancy was associated with low educational level, young ages, not cohabiting with a partner, and public centers. This study demonstrates the existence of socioeconomic inequalities in access conditions to abortion services.

Keywords : Induced abortion; Socioeconomic status; Gestational age.

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