Factors associated with abortion-seeking and obtaining a safe abortion in Ghana

Stud Fam Plann. 2012 Dec;43(4):273-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2012.00326.x.


Although Ghana's abortion law is fairly liberal, unsafe abortion and its consequences remain among the largest contributors to maternal mortality in the country. This study analyzes data from the 2007 Ghana Maternal Health Survey to identify the sociodemographic profiles of women who seek to induce abortion and those who are able to obtain safe abortion services. We hypothesize that women who have access to safe abortion will not be distributed randomly across different social groups in Ghana; rather, access will be influenced by social and economic factors. The results confirm this hypothesis and reveal that the women who are most vulnerable to unsafe abortions are younger, poorer, and lack partner support. The study concludes with policy recommendations for improving access to safe abortion for all subgroups of women, especially the most vulnerable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion Applicants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vulnerable Populations / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult