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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

PERES, Simone Ouvinha  and  HEILBORN, Maria Luiza. Considering and submitting to abortion among young people in the context of legal prohibition: the hidden side of teenage pregnancy. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.7, pp. 1411-1420. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006000700006.

This article aims to unveil the notion of abortion as an element in young people's thoughts on teenage pregnancy. The study analyzes data from semi-structured interviews with 123 young men and women 18-24 years of age in Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador, Brazil, belonging to different social strata. Based on information concerning their affective, sexual, and reproductive circumstances, an abortion typology was established with a gradient ranging from considering the act to the attempt to materialize it, actually submitting to abortion, and even ruling out the possibility of interrupting the pregnancy. According to the data, 73% of interviewees had considered the possibility of an abortion, demonstrating an important presence of this notion as a recourse vis-à-vis an unpredicted pregnancy, even in the Brazilian context where abortion is illegal. Among the 86 young people who had experienced a pregnancy, 27 reported having resorted to abortion (20 males and seven females). The results indicate gender differences and contribute to an understanding of teenage pregnancy by examining induced abortion, a hidden dimension in the public and scientific debate on this issue.

Keywords : Induced Abortion; Pregnancy in Adolescence; Sexuality.

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