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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

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FAUNDES, Anibal; SIMONETI, Rozana Martins; DUARTE, Graciana Alves  and  ANDALAFT-NETO, Jorge. Factors associated to knowledge and opinion of gynecologists and obstetricians about the Brazilian legislation on abortion. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2007, vol.10, n.1, pp.6-18. ISSN 1415-790X.

INTRODUCTION: Unsafe abortion accounts for about 12% of maternal deaths in Brazil, although many of these women could meet the requirements for legal abortion in this country. Physicians' inappropriate knowledge of the law may be playing a role in this situation. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate which factors are associated with the level of information and the opinion of the Brazilian gynecologists-obstetricians concerning abortion laws. METHODS: Questionnaires (14.320) were sent to all physicians affiliated to the Brazilian Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Associations (FEBRASGO), and 30.2% were returned completed. RESULTS: Most of respondents showed a good knowledge of the situations in which abortion is allowed but not about the documents required to carry out a legal abortion. However, most of them knew about the need for a judicial order in case of abortion of malformed fetus. Knowledge was associated with age, number of children and years of practice. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Poor knowledge on the requirements to carry out an abortion within the law may be a main factor responsible for the lack of access to legal abortion in Brazil.

Keywords : Legal abortion; Knowledge; Opinion; Obstetricians/gynecologists; Brazil.

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