Young women’s access to safe abortion and contraception in Nepal – the effect of socio-economic background, caste/ ethnicity and abortion facility access

Yagya Karki, Population, Health and Development (PHD) Group

Nationally, contraceptive prevalence rate among married young women aged 15-24 has stagnated at 21% since 2011. The odds of using contraceptives are 1.5 times greater among women from Janjati (ethnic) group. The odds of having an abortion are 4 times greater in province 5 and the rich are 3 times more likely to have an abortion. Women aware of legal abortion are 1.5 times more likely to have an abortion. Accessing safe abortion service is 2.5 times greater among women who are aware of abortion legalization. PHD Group's project monitoring data indicate that young people from Dalit community were significantly more likely to utilize safe abortion service prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and this held true even during lockdown period from 24th March 2020 to 21st July 2020 than their non-Dalit counterparts when services are made accessible and community interaction sessions on sexual and reproductive health and abortion take place regularly. Lessons learned from increasing access to safe abortion project are that the pay-off for hard to reach populations is high. Keywords: Youth, contraception, abortion, access

Keywords: Culture, ethnicity, race, religion and language, Family planning and contraception, Fertility and childbirth, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 178. Empowerment and Equity in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services