Abortion incidence in Rwanda
Paulin Basinga, Tulane University
Ann M. Moore, Guttmacher Institute
Susheela D. Singh, Guttmacher Institute
Liz Carlin, Guttmacher Institute
Francine Birungi, National University of Rwanda
Fidele Ngabo, Ministry of Health, Rwanda
Abortion is illegal in Rwanda except to save a woman’s life or to protect her physical health. Nevertheless, many women obtain unsafe abortions, some experience health complications. To estimate the incidence of induce abortion, we conducted a survey with a sample of health facilities that provide post abortion care as well as a purposive sample of knowledgeable health providers in Rwanda in 2009. Almost 16,300 women received care for complications of induced abortions in Rwandan in 2009. Nearly half of abortions in Rwanda lead to complications, and 1/5 of those who got a complication did not get treatment. Nationally, this translates to an annual rate of 24.4 induced abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 2009. Abortion rates were much higher in the capital (Kigali) than the rest of the country. There is an urgent need to strengthen family planning programs and postabortion care.