269488 Young Women's Health Seeking Behavior and Abortion Experiences in Nepal

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Valerie Acre, MHS , Research and Evaluation, Ipas, Chapel Hill, NC
Kathryn Andersen, PhD , Ipas, Chapel Hill, NC
Indira Basnett, MD , Ipas Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Alexandra Teixeira, MIA , Community Access Unit, Ipas, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Abortion has been legal in Nepal since 2002, giving all women the right to induced abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, young women are still not likely to access abortion care through the official health sector. This descriptive study explores the ways young women access safe and legal first trimester induced abortion services and identifies opportunities for community outreach. Methods: Data were collected from a cross-section of women presenting for first trimester induced abortion at three facilities purposefully selected to represent urban/rural and public /private variation. Eligible women were recruited during their initial visit and had a follow-up interview approximately 4 weeks later. The response rate was 80% (231/289); 30% of respondents were young women under the age of 25. Results: Young women had higher literacy than older women (94% of youth could read or write compared to 73% of older women). Disadvantaged castes/ethnic groups comprised 63% of young women, as compared to 47% of older women. Young women (80%) were also less likely than others (93%) to identify themselves as the main decision-maker to have the abortion or to choose the facility or provider. When asked about their preferred method of receiving abortion information, 79% of young women selected television, as compared to 64% of adults. Conclusions: Strategies for improving abortion access and care to young women must take into account the lack of agency experienced by Nepal's youth. In addition, abortion-related information targeting younger women could be targeted through the preferred medium of television.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To describe the health seeking behavior and abortion experiences of youth in Nepal. To identify effective methods of education and outreach for Nepal's youth.

Keywords: Youth, Abortion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been co-investigator of studies researching abortion and family planning access in Southeast Asia with Ipas, a non-profit NGO focused on improving abortion access and care globally.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.