Documenting the Economic Cost of Unsafe Abortion among Post-Abortion Care Patients in Uganda

Aparna Sundaram, Guttmacher Institute
Michael Vlassoff, Guttmacher Institute
Leo Amanya, Independent Researcher
Tsuyoshi Onda, Guttmacher Institute
Charles Kiggundu, Makerere University
Florence Mirembe, Makerere University

Due to a large unmet need for modern contraception in Uganda, many women resort to abortion to meet their fertility goals. However, abortion in Uganda is legally restricted, making a majority of the abortions in the country clandestine and unsafe. Apart from the dangerous health consequences, unsafe abortions also take an economic toll on the women who resort to it. Not only do these women have to pay for the abortion, they also have to pay for the treatment of its complications, and remain out of productive employment for the duration of their ill-health. Using data from a primary survey in Uganda, we examine the nature of these consequences to women and their households. As indicated by our initial results, we expect to find that the negative economic consequences will be the strongest for the poorest women, who are more likely to slip deeper into poverty because of it.

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Presented in Session 34: The Cost of Unsafe Abortion in Developing Countries