Study identifies barriers to abortion services in developed countries

Jun 28, 2015 | | Say something
A new study published in the Journal of family planning and reproductive health services seeking women in developed countries face great difficulties when trying to obtain an abortion in early pregnancy, although developed countries have fewer legal barriers to abortion.
Woman holding pregnancy test
negative toward abortion providers healthcare attitudes are one of the main factors limiting access to the procedure, according to the researchers.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 5 pregnancies worldwide end in abortion – defined as pregnancy termination so does not result in the birth of a baby.

In the US, a method of medical abortion is an option in the first weeks of the first quarter, in which a woman receives a drug called methotrexate orally or by injection, followed by oral or vaginal administration of a drug called misoprostol 3-7 days later.

In the second and third quarters, only abortion surgical procedures – such as dilation and curettage or dilation and extraction – can perform.

While the procedures of surgical abortion are very safe when legally performed under sufficient regulation, the WHO estimates that for every 100 live worldwide born, around four unsafe abortions are performed – defined as “a procedure for terminating a pregnancy which it is performed by an individual lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimum medical standards, or both “.

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negative attitudes toward abortion remain a key barrier

For their study, Frances Doran and Susan Nancarrow, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University in Australia, conducted a systematic review of over 2,500 studies published between 1993 and 2014 that investigated the access to services of abortion in developed countries during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

From these studies, the researchers identified 38 that involved an early abortion and included views from women and health professionals regarding the factors that may prevent women’s access to abortion services.

From its review, Doran and Nancarrow found that the main obstacles to abortion services cited by providers of health care were moral opposition to abortion, lack of adequate training, lack of health professionals able to carry out the procedure, inadequate hospital resources – especially in rural areas – areas and harassment of medical staff of individuals who oppose abortion.

Women included in the studies cited negative attitudes of health professionals towards abortion, the cost of the procedure – particularly in North America – as barriers to abortion services. The lack of local abortion services was also named as a key barrier, especially among low-income women, people living in rural areas and minority groups.

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Commenting on their findings, the researchers say:

“Despite security and frequency of legal abortions are performed, regulated, where it is determined that several avoidable factors that limit the provision of, and access to abortion services. ”

How can these barriers be broken down?

The team points to a number of ways to increase access to abortion services, including the provision of adequate training of health professionals on how to treat women who want an abortion in early pregnancy.

“Attitudes and beliefs of health professionals to the negative abortion create obstacles for women seeking access to abortion” they say. “Regardless of the header values, which must be properly trained to refer and provide services that are in the best interests of women.”

Doran and Nancarrow say services free or affordable abortion women to avoid requiring referral could be another way to increase access because they could provide abortion services that are part of a multidisciplinary clinic to reduce the stigma associated with it.

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The researchers also note that increased access to medical abortion can also boost access to the procedure during early pregnancy, noting that in some countries – such as Canada – medical abortion is not licensed.

“The provision of medical abortion through telemedicine has clear benefits for women and provider with excellent clinical results”, added.

“Moreover, if women could acquire safe abortion drugs for non-medical providers outside their local community, or in an outpatient medical center, termination is then converted into a private decision between doctor and patient, which is less susceptible to outside scrutiny of external conservative attitudes against abortion and pressures. ”

In February, Medical News Today reported a WHO study that is under contraception in 35 low- and middle-income countries is behind 15 million unwanted pregnancies the world every year .

This article was originally published on MNT, Read the original article here

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