Document Detail

Unmarried women's decisions on pregnancy termination: Qualitative interviews in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21122612     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: In Sri Lanka pregnancy termination is very restricted by law and social norms. Premarital sex, and pregnancies are not generally accepted and unmarried pregnant women are vulnerable in their decision-making on pregnancy termination.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to describe the circumstances of becoming pregnant and factors considered in the decision-making for seeking pregnancy termination in a sample of unmarried women in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
METHODS: Individual qualitative interviews were conducted with 19 unmarried women seeking pregnancy terminations at a reproductive health centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The interviews were later analysed using qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: Becoming pregnant in a love relationship was predominant in this sample. Awareness of contraceptives varied and initial reaction to the pregnancy involved strong contradictory emotions. Multiple interrelated factors were considered in the decision-making for termination. Family pressure was the most prominent factor followed by the partner's qualities and attitude towards the pregnancy, economic factors and own feelings, values and future fertility. The women described that their own emotional, religious and economic reasons for continuing the pregnancy were often outweighed by their responsibility to the family, male partner and unborn child.
CONCLUSIONS: These unmarried women's sexual and reproductive rights were limited and for many the pregnancy termination was socially unsafe. They found themselves at the interface of two value systems. Modern values allow for relationships with men prior to marriage; whereas, traditional values did not. The limited possibilities to prevent pregnancies and little hope for support if continuing the pregnancy; made women seek pregnancy termination despite own doubts.
Pia Olsson; Kumudu Wijewardena
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-08-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sexual & reproductive healthcare : official journal of the Swedish Association of Midwives     Volume:  1     ISSN:  1877-5764     ISO Abbreviation:  Sex Reprod Healthc     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-02     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101530546     Medline TA:  Sex Reprod Healthc     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  135-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Dept. of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Sweden.
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