Attitudes and Experiences of Women Admitted to Hospital with Abortion Complications in Ghana

  • P Aniteye
  • S Mayhew
Keywords: Norethisterone, Primolut N tablet, Pre-coital oral contraceptive


Unsafe abortion is one of the major contributors to high levels of maternal mortality in Ghana, despite a relatively liberal legal environment. This paper presents findings from a semi-structured hospital-based survey of 131 Ghanaian women who had experienced unsafe abortion. The majority of respondents were young and single, with no children or just one child. Most had middle-school education or higher and were employed, as were their partners. While knowledge of family planning was high, knowledge of specific methods was barely moderate and only 17% respondents had ever used it – much lower than the national everuse of 39%. There were widespread misunderstandings about who could use family planning and 41% said they were afraid of sideeffects. Eleven percent said their pregnancy was planned and 31% that they wanted their pregnancy but were pressured by partners or families to abort. Overall, about one-third of respondents said they aborted because they were not married and two-thirds said they aborted because of socio-cultural pressures. This study highlights clear ongoing failings of the family planning programme which
needs to be revamped, as well as an urgent need for improving public knowledge about access to safe, legal abortion services (Afr J Reprod Health 2011; 15[1]: 47-55).

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eISSN: 1118-4841