A study to determine the factors contributing to an increase in abortions in Chingola
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The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that contribute to increase in the number of abortions among the reproductive age group in Chingola District.Abortions is a major concern both globally and in the African region, Zambia inclusive as it accounts for about 13 percent of all maternal mortality rates. The sub-Saharan Africa records an increased number of unsafe abortions which are associated with multiple complications and even death. Literature review from global, regional as well as national perspective reviewed similar factors contributing to increase in the number of abortions. The literature showed that some of these factors include stigma associated with single parenthood, unmet family planning needs, early marriages and high school drop out among the adolescents, unstable relationships and many more. It showed that most of the women faced with unwanted or unintended pregnancies resort to unsafe abortions. To carry out the investigations a descriptive non- intervention, quantitative research design was used. A pilot study was conducted to test the effectiveness of the tool on five respondents. The main study was conducted in November, 2010 at Nchanga North General Hospital with 50 participants. These were interviewed and selected using convenience sampling. The study findings showed that most of the abortions occurred among the adolescent. Stigma was also the highest factor among the factors contributing to increase in the number of abortions. It has revealed that sigma is a major factor contributing to increase in the number of unsafe abortions. This is common among the adolescents as well as the older women. It is not acceptable in our Zambian culture for a single woman to become pregnant. The study also reveals that there is a relationship between age and the number of abortions. This implies that the adolescents are the victims of unsafe abortions resulting from unwanted pregnancies because they become sexually active at an early age and early marriages are still common in Zambia. Teenage pregnancy is precipitated by influences of premarital sexual practices and early marriage practices which are still a social norm of the Zambian societies. Unwanted pregnancies which later lead to increase in abortions have related to gender sexual violence, rape, defilement, gender and women empowerment.