Induced Abortion in Ghana: A Qualitative Study

Hilary Schwandt, Johns Hopkins University
Richard M.K. Adanu, University of Ghana
Kwabena Danso, University of Ghana

Despite abortion being legal, complications from induced abortion are the leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana. The objective of this study was to understand the decision-making process associated with induced abortion. We collected data from female post-abortion care patients, male partners, family planning nurses and obstetricians/gynecologists at the two teaching hospitals in Ghana using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. While experiences differ for married and single women, according to providers and women, men are involved in abortion decision-making directly, through “orders” to abort, or indirectly, through denying responsibility for the pregnancy. While results suggest that targeting men may be important, there are substantial gender norms to overcome in order to prevent unsafe induced abortions in Ghana.

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Presented in Session 144: Abortion Decision-Making and Experience