Abortion Incidence and Unintended Pregnancy in Nepal

Aparna Sundaram, Guttmacher Institute
Mahesh Puri, Center for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities (CREHPA)
Anand Tamang, Center for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities (CREHPA)
Rubina Hussain, Guttmacher Institute
Marjorie Crowell, Guttmacher Institute
Susheela D. Singh, Guttmacher Institute

Although abortion is legal in Nepal, it had until about a decade ago been severely legally restricted. The 2002 amendment to the law made abortion more accessible to women, but abortions continue to be provided by illegal providers in unsafe conditions. There are currently no reliable estimates of abortion incidence. Only incomplete data on legal procedures reported by authorized facilities exist. In this paper we seek to fill this knowledge gap by conducting the first national study of abortion incidence, both legal and unsafe. The study will produce national and regional estimates of incidence of all abortions, of unintended pregnancies, of the incidence of treatment for abortion complications in health facilities, and of barriers to accessing legal abortion and postabortion services. We will obtain a baseline measure of abortion incidence, and provide information for improving policies to reduce unsafe abortion, unintended pregnancy and unmet need for contraception.

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Presented in Session 38: The Persistence of Unsafe Abortion