Contraception Matters: The Decline in Induced Abortion in the Former Soviet Georgia

Florina I. Serbanescu, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Paul Stupp, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Leo Morris, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Before the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, countries under Soviet influence relied heavily on abortion as a means of fertility control. The total induced abortion rate, more than three lifetime abortions on average per woman, is one of the highest in the world. Characteristics of women who have legal induced abortions in Georgia are examined using two 6-year apart nationwide population-based reproductive health surveys. Prevention of unintended pregnancy through contraception has reduced abortion levels from 3.7 to 3.1 abortions per woman, but many women still choose to terminate their pregnancies, underscoring the importance of subsidized family planning services and expanded coverage. The recent decline in complications after legal abortions illustrates that clinical practice has been improving and more abortions are performed at lower risk. Efforts to further replace abortion with contraception should focus on increasing access to a variety of high quality, affordable modern methods.

Presented in Session 170: Abortion II