Estimating abortion incidence in Burkina Faso using two methodologies

Stud Fam Plann. 2011 Sep;42(3):147-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2011.00275.x.


Abortion is illegal in Burkina Faso except in cases of incest, rape, fetal defect, or when the woman's life or physical health is endangered. As a result, abortion procedures are often conducted illegally and unsafely and measuring incidence proves difficult. We estimate incidence of abortion and associated morbidity using two methodologies. The first is the Abortion Incidence Complications Method (AICM), which uses information on women hospitalized for abortion-related complications as well as health professionals' assessments of the proportion of women who seek treatment for complications from unsafe abortions. The second is the Anonymous Third Party Reporting (ATPR) method, which entails surveying women about their confidantes' abortions. We conclude that the AICM yields a more accurate result. We estimate that 87,200 abortion procedures were carried out in 2008, representing 25 for every 1,000 women aged 15-49. More than one in four procedures resulted in complications treated at a health facility. The abortion rate estimated using the ATPR approach was 72 percent of that estimated with the AICM. The ATPR method yields information on the characteristics of the women who have abortions as well as the providers and methods they use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion Applicants / psychology
  • Abortion Applicants / statistics & numerical data
  • Abortion, Criminal / adverse effects
  • Abortion, Criminal / mortality
  • Abortion, Criminal / prevention & control
  • Abortion, Criminal / statistics & numerical data
  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects
  • Abortion, Induced / mortality
  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anonymous Testing / organization & administration*
  • Burkina Faso / epidemiology
  • Family Planning Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted / psychology
  • Self Report
  • Statistics as Topic