Changes in the Prevalence of Induced Abortion in the Philippines

Fatima Juarez, El Colegio de México
Josefina V. Cabigon, University of the Philippines
Susheela D. Singh, Alan Guttmacher Institute

In the Philippines, where abortion is legally restricted, many women nevertheless obtain abortions, often unsafe, given their motivation to avoid unwanted births. This study estimates the number of women having induced abortions during the late 1990s and the incidence of induced abortion at the national and regional level. We apply indirect estimation techniques to the average annual number of women treated in hospital for induced abortion complications over the period 1999-2001, data obtained from hospital reports to the Department of Health. Applying assumptions and adjustments, we estimate the total number having abortions, and the rate of abortion. These estimates are compared with 1994 estimates that used a similar methodology, to assess changes in abortion incidence, 1994-2001. Given recent increases in use of traditional methods and declines in modern method use, and given a social and political context of increased barriers to contraceptive access, assessing abortion trends has great policy relevance.

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Presented in Session 135: Abortion I