Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
SILVA, Rebeca de Souza e and VIEIRA, Elisabeth Meloni. Frequency and characteristics of induced abortion among married and single women in São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.1, pp. 179-187. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000100019.
This article presents the results of a study in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, aimed at estimating the frequency of induced abortion among women 15 to 49 years of age. The objective was to characterize the occurrence of induced abortion by comparing the ideal number of children, age, and contraceptive use between married and single women. Based on random sampling, 1,749 interviews were held, including 764 married women, 658 single women, and 327 with other marital status. The analysis included: mean number of abortions per woman by analysis of variance and proportions of abortions and pregnancy, using the chi-square test. The mean abortion rate for married women (45 per thousand) did not differ statistically from that of single women. However, the pregnancy rate was much lower in single women, and when single women became pregnant they used abortion more frequently; while fewer than 2% of pregnancies in married women ended in induced abortions, among single women the abortion rate exceeded 18%. Therefore, the priority in the reproductive health field should be to invest in the supply and dissemination of appropriate contraceptive methods for women's early sexually active life.
Keywords : Induced Abortion; Contraceptive Agents; Reproductive Health.