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Termination of pregnancy: associations with partner violence and other factors in a national cohort of young Australian women

Authors


Dr Angela Taft, Mother and Child Health Research, La Trobe University, 324–328 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000. Fax: (03) 9624 8555; email: a.taft@latrobe.edu.au

Abstract

Objective: To examine the associations between termination and other reproductive events, socio-demographic characteristics and experience of violence among a community-based national sample of young Australian women.

Methods: Using multiple logistic regression, we analysed data from the Younger cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health comprising 14,776 young women aged 18–23 in survey 1 (1996), of whom 9,683 aged 22–27 also responded to survey 2 (2000). We stratified respondents into those aged below 20 and those who were older at survey 1. We compared the characteristics associated with terminations among teenage women in 1996 (survey 1) with those of women aged over 20 in 1996 who had not then reported a termination and who responded to survey 2 in 2000. Finally, we compared the characteristics of women reporting terminations, births, preterm births and miscarriages.

Results: Women reporting teenage terminations were more likely to be in a de facto relationship (OR=1.94, 95% CI 1.17–3.21), less well educated (OR=2.32, 95% CI 1.44–3.74), have no private health insurance, and be a victim of partner violence (OR=3.11, 95% CI 1.76–5.49). Women reporting later terminations were also more likely to be abused by a partner (OR=3.52, 95% CI 2.14–5.81).The relationship with violence held for the other reproductive events.

Conclusion and Implications: Partner violence is a strong predictor of termination and other reproductive outcomes among young Australian women. Education has a protective effect. Prevention and reduction of partner violence may reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancy.

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