Background: Evidence from developed countries has shown that abortion-related mortality and morbidity has decreased with the liberalization of the abortion law. This study aimed to assess the trend of hospital-based abortion complications during the transition of legalization in Ethiopia in May 2005.
Methods: Medical records of women with abortion complications from 2003 to 2007 were reviewed (n = 773). Abortion and its complications with regard to legalization were described by rates and ratios, and predictors of fatal outcomes were analyzed by logistic regression.
Results: The overall and abortion-related maternal mortality ratios (AMMRs) showed a non-statistically significant downward trend over the 5-year period. However, the case fatality rate of abortion increased from 1.1% in 2003 to 3.6% in 2007. Late gestational age, history of interference and presenting after new abortion legislation passed have been found to be significant predictors of mortality.
Conclusion: Decreased trends of abortion ratio and the AMMR were identified, but the severity of abortion complications and the case fatality rate increased during the transition of legal revision.