Legal abortion among immigrants in Portugal
ESC Congress Library. Medeiros R. 05/28/14; 50433; A-015
Dr. Rita Medeiros
Dr. Rita Medeiros
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Abstract
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Introduction: Migration flows are responsible for a growing proportion of foreign women in Portugal, who have access to health care with the same rights as portuguese. According to the 2011 Census, immigrants in Portugal represented 3,7% of the total residents. In our country since 2007, when abortion by women's request became legal, an average of 17% of abortions per year, were made in immigrants.
Objective: Comparative analysis of the socio-demographic characteristics and contraception choices of portuguese and immigrant women who had an abortion.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of 4625 cases of abortion requested in our unit between 2007 and 2012. The population was stratified in two groups: 1- portuguese women; 2- immigrant women. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS® version 21.
Results: Of the 4625 women, 4086 (88,3%) were portuguese and 538 (11,7%) were immigrants (53,7% African, 18,8% Brazilian, 18,2% Eastern Europe and 9,3% Western Europe). The mean age was 29,04±7,39 [13-49] and 26,49±6,17 [16-44] years in group 1 and group 2, respectively (p<0,001). Regarding education were illiterate 0,4% vs 1,3%, had completed basic education 19,3% vs 14,4%, obligatory education 35% vs 43,4% and university 29,2% vs 30,2% (p<0,001). Had a qualified job 36,4% vs 13%, unqualified job 25,5% vs 25,3%, were domestic 3,4% vs 4,3%, students 20,4% vs 46,2% and unemployed 14,3% vs 11,2% (p<0,001). Were single 55,7% vs 70,6% and married 33,1% vs 23,8% (p<0,001). Had no children 43,8% vs 51,9% and 29,8% vs 23,8% had 2 or more child (p=0,002). Had a family planning appointment during the year that preceded the abortion 51,4% vs 35,1% (p<0,001). The use of contraception previous to the abortion was mentioned by 87,5% vs 88,2% and the leading methods were oral contraception (29,8% vs 24,8%) and male condom (19,2% vs 18,8%), natural methods were used by 3,3% vs 4,1% (p<0,001). Had no previous abortion 84,9% vs 76,2% (p<0,001). After abortion the leading methods were oral contraception (58,4% vs 51,3%), intrauterine device and (12,6% vs 8,4%), hormonal implant (8,3% vs 18,4%), but 1,7% vs 3,7% opted to continue without contraception (p<0,001).
Conclusion: Immigrants that requested abortion were younger and single, but with higher education than portuguese women, being most of them students. Non-attendance of family planning counseling and inappropriate use of contraception were common in both groups. After abortion the use of contraceptives had increased, being the oral contraception the leading method in both groups. Nationality and cultural differences do not seems to be a barrier to contraceptive choices.

Introduction: Migration flows are responsible for a growing proportion of foreign women in Portugal, who have access to health care with the same rights as portuguese. According to the 2011 Census, immigrants in Portugal represented 3,7% of the total residents. In our country since 2007, when abortion by women's request became legal, an average of 17% of abortions per year, were made in immigrants.
Objective: Comparative analysis of the socio-demographic characteristics and contraception choices of portuguese and immigrant women who had an abortion.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of 4625 cases of abortion requested in our unit between 2007 and 2012. The population was stratified in two groups: 1- portuguese women; 2- immigrant women. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS® version 21.
Results: Of the 4625 women, 4086 (88,3%) were portuguese and 538 (11,7%) were immigrants (53,7% African, 18,8% Brazilian, 18,2% Eastern Europe and 9,3% Western Europe). The mean age was 29,04±7,39 [13-49] and 26,49±6,17 [16-44] years in group 1 and group 2, respectively (p<0,001). Regarding education were illiterate 0,4% vs 1,3%, had completed basic education 19,3% vs 14,4%, obligatory education 35% vs 43,4% and university 29,2% vs 30,2% (p<0,001). Had a qualified job 36,4% vs 13%, unqualified job 25,5% vs 25,3%, were domestic 3,4% vs 4,3%, students 20,4% vs 46,2% and unemployed 14,3% vs 11,2% (p<0,001). Were single 55,7% vs 70,6% and married 33,1% vs 23,8% (p<0,001). Had no children 43,8% vs 51,9% and 29,8% vs 23,8% had 2 or more child (p=0,002). Had a family planning appointment during the year that preceded the abortion 51,4% vs 35,1% (p<0,001). The use of contraception previous to the abortion was mentioned by 87,5% vs 88,2% and the leading methods were oral contraception (29,8% vs 24,8%) and male condom (19,2% vs 18,8%), natural methods were used by 3,3% vs 4,1% (p<0,001). Had no previous abortion 84,9% vs 76,2% (p<0,001). After abortion the leading methods were oral contraception (58,4% vs 51,3%), intrauterine device and (12,6% vs 8,4%), hormonal implant (8,3% vs 18,4%), but 1,7% vs 3,7% opted to continue without contraception (p<0,001).
Conclusion: Immigrants that requested abortion were younger and single, but with higher education than portuguese women, being most of them students. Non-attendance of family planning counseling and inappropriate use of contraception were common in both groups. After abortion the use of contraceptives had increased, being the oral contraception the leading method in both groups. Nationality and cultural differences do not seems to be a barrier to contraceptive choices.

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