Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Pathways to unsafe abortion in Ghana: the role of male partners, women and health care providers

TitlePathways to unsafe abortion in Ghana: the role of male partners, women and health care providers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSchwandt, HM, Creanga, AA, Adanu, RM, Danso, KA, Agbenyega, T, Hindin, MJ
Date PublishedOct
ISBN Number1879-0518 (Electronic)0010-7824 (Linking)
Accession Number23643156
Keywords*Attitude of Health Personnel/ethnology, *Attitude to Health/ethnology, *Decision Making, *Truth Disclosure, Abortion, Induced/*adverse effects/nursing/psychology, Family Planning Services/manpower, Female, Focus Groups, Ghana, Gynecology/manpower, Hospitals, Teaching, Humans, Individualized Medicine, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Nurses, Obstetrics/manpower, Physicians, Postoperative Period, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Unwanted/ethnology/*psychology, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Sexual Partners

BACKGROUND: Despite abortion being legal, complications from induced abortion are the second leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana. The objective of this study was to understand the decision-making process associated with induced abortion in Ghana. STUDY DESIGN: Data were collected from female postabortion patients, male partners, family planning nurses and obstetricians/gynecologists at two teaching hospitals in Ghana using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. RESULTS: While experiences differ for married and single women, men are involved in abortion decision making directly, through "orders" to abort, or indirectly, through denying responsibility for the pregnancy. Health care providers can be barriers to seeking safe abortions in this setting. CONCLUSIONS: Women who choose to terminate a pregnancy without their male partners' knowledge should have the means (both financial and social) to do so safely. Interventions with health care providers should discourage judgemental attitudes and emphasize individually focused patient care.