AN ANALYSIS OF THE INCREASE IN MORTALITY RATE AS A RESULT OF ABORTION AMONG YOUNG WOMEN
1.1 Background of Study
Unintended pregnancy is a pregnancy that is either mistimed or unwanted at the time of conception. It is a core concept in understanding the fertility of populations and the unmet need for contraception. Unintended pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of morbidity for women, and with health behaviours during pregnancy that are associated with adverse effects. For example, women with an unintended pregnancy may delay prenatal care, which may affect the health of the infant. Women of all ages may have unintended pregnancies, but some groups, such as teens, are at a higher risk.
The use of modern contraceptive methods has greatly reduced the incidence of unintended pregnancy, particularly in more developed countries and provision of family planning services and modern contraceptives to those who do not have access to them would prevent a large proportion of unintended pregnancies and abortions, as well as many maternal and infant deaths. It is reported that despite of the availability of different modern methods of contraceptives, ranging from short, long term to permanent methods, as well as natural methods of contraception, the problem of unwanted pregnancies is very big worldwide but still underreported in many communities due to its sensitive nature. This is so said due to the high incidence of pregnancy termination which contributes to high maternal mortality and morbidity. About 80 million of unintended pregnancies are estimated to occur worldwide annually. In developing countries more than one-third of all pregnancies are considered unintended and about 19% will end up in abortion, which are most often unsafe accounting for 13% of all maternal death globally (Guttmacher institute 2007, Marston 2004).
Unwanted pregnancies are affected by number of factors including personal beliefs, social services, religious and cultural values as well as the existing laws in the community. Most of the time unwanted pregnancies started as unplanned pregnancy, but occasionally the planned pregnancy may end up into being unwanted pregnancy (Baginsk, 2007).It is also shown that out of 210 million pregnancies occurring in the world annually, about 79 million are estimated to be unintended, of these more than 50% end up in abortion.(Bongarts & West off, 2000). The World Health Organisation estimates that at least 33% of all women seeking hospital care for complications related to abortions are less than 20 years of age. This may be explained by the fact that adolescents’ fertility rate is very high, this affects not only these young women but also their children’s health; because birth to women aged 15-19 years have the highest risks of infant and child mortality as well as high risk of maternal mortality (WHO). In Nigeria there are 139 reported births per 1000 women aged 15-19 years (WHO, Adolescent fertility statistics 2000). Even if all contraceptives users were too use their methods correctly at all time, still there will be nearly six million accidental pregnancies annually which may end up into unwanted pregnancy (WHO 2003). Countries were contraceptive use is very high, the rate of unwanted pregnancy as well as abortion has declined to a very great extent, that is contraceptive use is inversely proportional to the rate of abortion (Bongaarts and Westoff, 2000).