Abortion Incidence and Postabortion Care in Rwanda
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Population Council, Inc.
Studies in Family Planning
Volume 43, Issue 1, pages 11–20, March 2012
How to Cite
Basinga, P., Moore, A. M., Singh, S. D., Carlin, E. E., Birungi, F. and Ngabo, F. (2012), Abortion Incidence and Postabortion Care in Rwanda. Studies in Family Planning, 43: 11–20. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2012.00298.x
- Issue published online: 8 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012
Abortion is illegal in Rwanda except when necessary to protect a woman's physical health or to save her life. Many women in Rwanda obtain unsafe abortions, and some experience health complications as a result. To estimate the incidence of induced abortion, we conducted a national sample survey of health facilities that provide postabortion care and a purposive sample survey of key informants knowledgeable about abortion conditions. We found that more than 16,700 women received care for complications resulting from induced abortion in Rwanda in 2009, or 7 per 1,000 women aged 15–44. Approximately 40 percent of abortions are estimated to lead to complications requiring treatment, but about a third of those who experienced a complication did not obtain treatment. Nationally, the estimated induced abortion rate is 25 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44, or approximately 60,000 abortions annually. An urgent need exists in Rwanda to address unmet need for contraception, to strengthen family planning services, to broaden access to legal abortion, and to improve postabortion care.