Induced abortion in Denmark: effect of socio-economic situation and country of birth

Vibeke Rasch, Tine Gammeltoft, Lisbeth B. Knudsen, Charlotte Tobiassen, Annelie Ginzel, Lillan Kempf

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Abstrakt

BACKGROUND: Equal access to health care is considered a key in Scandinavian healthcare policy. However, problematic differences between the socio-economic situation of immigrants and that of native Scandinavians are increasingly challenging this aspect of the Scandinavian welfare model. The present study focuses on how socio-economic characteristics and country of birth are associated with induced abortion. METHODS: A structured questionnaire was used to collect information among 1351 women requesting abortion and a control group of 1306 women intending birth. RESULTS: The strongest factor associated with the decision to have an abortion was being single (OR 39.1; 23.8-64.2), followed by being aged 19 years or below (OR 29.6; 13.4-65.5), having two children or more (OR 7.05; 5.29-9.39) and being unskilled (OR 2.48; 1.49-4.10), student (OR 2.29; 1.52-3.43) or unemployed (OR 1.65; 1.11-2.46). When evaluating the effect of social exposure on abortion among Danish-born and foreign-born women, the higher rate of abortion among non-Westerners was found to be caused by the composition of non-Westerners more often being unemployed, having a low income and having two or more children rather than the fact that they are coming from a non-Western country. CONCLUSION: Immigrant women comprise a vulnerable group, with a poor socio-economic status. This situation exposes immigrant women to increased risk of induced abortion. In a society with an increasing heterogeneous population, the vulnerable situation of immigrant women has to be addressed, if equal access to health care is to be maintained.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Public Health
Vol/bind18
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)144-9
Antal sider6
ISSN1101-1262
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1. apr. 2008

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