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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY Faculty Studies Induced Abortion Inequalities in Spain

Dr. Luisa Borrell, Professor of Epidemiology at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues, studied the role of birthplace and educational attainment on induced abortion inequalities in the Basque Country, Spain. The work was published in BMC Public Health.

[Photo: Dr. Luisa Borrell]

Induced abortion has shown social inequality related to birthplace and education, with higher rates of induced abortions in immigrant and in less educated women relative to their native and highly educated counterparts. This study examined the independent and joint effects of birthplace and education on induced abortion, repeated and induced abortion performed during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy among women residing in the Basque Country, Spain.

The research team conducted a cross-sectional population-based study of induced abortion among women aged 25-49 years residing in the Basque Country, Spain, between 2011 and 2013. Log-binomial regression was used to quantify the independent and joint effects of birthplace and education attainment on all outcomes.

Immigrant women exhibited higher probability of having an induced abortions, a repeated or a second trimester induced abortion than women born in Spain. We observed higher probabilities for all outcomes among women with a primary or less education relative to those with a graduate education. However, no significant heterogeneity was observed for the effect of education on the association of birthplace with induced abortions, repeated or 2nd trimester induced abortions.

The authors concluded that birthplace and education are key factors to explain not only an induced abortion decision but also having a repeated or a 2nd trimester induced abortion. However, the effects of birthplace and education may be independent from each other on these outcomes. A more nuanced understanding of these factors on induced abortions is needed to inform designing programs for sexual and reproductive health aimed to reduce inequalities among women.