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Comparative studies of motivations for abortion and use of contraception by adolescent abortion patients

, : Comparative studies of motivations for abortion and use of contraception by adolescent abortion patients. Arztliche Jugendkunde 80(4): 202-209

As part of a general research program on pregnancy and the development of women, 11 women's clinics cooperated with the sociology department at Karl Marx University in Leipzig to make a series of surveys in 1976, 1981 and 1987 which would be representative of the population of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The results of the survey have an probable error of 5%. The survey reported motivation and attitude changes among abortion patients younger than 20 years. In the interval from 1976-1981 the percentage of young abortion patients increased from 15 to 19% and then decreased to 17% in 1987. The number of those below 18 years was 6% in 1976, rising to 9% in 1981 and 1987. During the same period the percentage of married patients decreased from 10% to 3% and 4%. At present about 30% of all children in the GDR are born of unmarried mothers. [All % are listed by years 1976, 1981, 1987] By occupation, students and apprentices made up 54%, 58%, 59%; skilled workers 29%, 24%, 23%; university students 6%, 13%, 14%; and unskilled workers 11%, 5%, and 4%. The most important reasons for not using hormonal contraceptives were indifference 20%, 25%, and 31%; anxiety about health risks 14%, 13% and 12%; weight gain 9%, 8%, 6%; discouraged by partner 3%, 1%, 2%; and anxiety about failure of the method 1%, 1% and 2%. That the statistics on abortion have changed so little over the years, taking into account the effort expended on socio-political measures, shows that those measures alone will not produce any decrease in the number of abortions.


PMID: 2816550

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