Determinants of abortion in post-transition Russia

Francesca Perlman, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Background: This paper seeks to describe and explain the continuing high abortion rates in post-transition Russia. Methods: Data from RLMS (Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey) were used to measure trends in abortion in women aged 18-45 (8 survey rounds, 1994-2003). Using logistic regression, the prospective determinants of abortion over the following 2 years were studied in 2,321 female respondents present in 2001 Results: The decline in the abortion rate in RLMS paralleled national trends, although with slight under-reporting. Abortion was predicted by recent previous abortion, cohabitation (compared with marriage), young age, and poor subjective (but not objective) financial situation. Non-use of contraception due to inconvenience or cost was also a predictor. Conclusions: Despite the decline, ongoing widespread abortion in Russia may be fuelled by ongoing financial uncertainty, and choice of birth control. Further research is required into the reasons why abortion appears to be used by some women in preference to modern contraception.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Reproductive health, HIV-AIDS, poverty and gender