Abortion Incidence and Postabortion Care in Rwanda|
BASINGA, P.; MOORE, AM; SINGH, SD.; CARLIN, EE.; BIRUNGI, F. & NGABO, F.
Abortion is illegal in Rwanda except when necessary to protect a woman’s physical health or to save
her life. Many women in Rwanda obtain unsafe abortions, and some experience health complications
as a result. To estimate the incidence of induced abortion, we conducted a national sample survey
of health facilities that provide postabortion care and a purposive sample survey of key informants
knowledgeable about abortion conditions. We found that more than 16,700 women received care
for complications resulting from induced abortion in Rwanda in 2009, or 7 per 1,000 women aged
15–44. Approximately 40 percent of abortions are estimated to lead to complications requiring
treatment, but about a third of those who experienced a complication did not obtain treatment.
Nationally, the estimated induced abortion rate is 25 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44, or
approximately 60,000 abortions annually. An urgent need exists in Rwanda to address unmet need
for contraception, to strengthen family planning services, to broaden access to legal abortion, and to
improve postabortion care. (StudieS in Family Planning 2012; 43: 11–20).