Jan 1, 2002
This research brief describes work documented in Do Better Family Planning Services Reduce Abortion in Bangladesh? (RP-993).
Excerpt: It might seem that increasing contraceptive use would reduce abortion by reducing unintended pregnancies, but, in fact, abortion and contraceptive use have sometimes increased simultaneously in developing nations. For example, in the past two decades, fertility in one rural area of Bangladesh has fallen by about half while both abortion and contraception nearly tripled. Abortion rates sometimes increase as birth rates decrease in developing nations. Social and economic development leads couples to want to invest more in the health and education of their children, raising the "costs" of each child. As these costs increase, couples become more interested in limiting the number of their births. If couples are unable to limit their births through contraception, they may do so through abortion. This can cause particular problems in developing countries where many abortions are performed by unsafe means and thereby carry great risk of maternal morbidity and mortality.