Abortion in Brazil: a household survey using the ballot box technique

This study presents the first results of the National Abortion Survey (PNA, Pesquisa Nacional de Aborto), a household random sample survey fielded in 2010 covering urban women in Brazil aged 18 to 39 years. The PNA combined two techniques, interviewer-administered questionnaires and self-administered ballot box questionnaires. The results of PNA show that at the end of their reproductive health one in five women has performed an abortion, with abortions being more frequent in the main reproductive ages, that is, from 18 to 29 years old. No relevant differentiation was observed in the practice of abortion among religious groups, but abortion was found to be more common among people with lower education. The use of medical drugs to induce abortion occurred in half of the abortions, and post-abortion hospitalization was observed among approximately half of the women who aborted. Such results lead to conclude that abortion is a priority in the Brazilian public health agenda.

Induced abortion; Abortion surveys; Medical abortion; Reproductive history; Ballot box technique; Brazil

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