Healthcare (Jun 2021)
Predictors of Pregnancy Termination among Young Women in Ghana: Empirical Evidence from the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey Data
Pregnancy termination remains a delicate and contentious reproductive health issue because of a variety of political, economic, religious, and social reasons. The present study examined the associations between demographic and socio-economic factors and pregnancy termination among young Ghanaian women. This study used data from the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey of Ghana. A sample size of 2114 young women (15–24 years) was considered for the study. Both descriptive (frequency, percentages, and chi-square tests) and inferential (binary logistic regression) analyses were carried out in this study. Statistical significance was pegged at p < 0.05. Young women aged 20–24 were more likely to have a pregnancy terminated compared to those aged 15–19 (AOR = 3.81, CI = 2.62–5.54). The likelihood of having a pregnancy terminated was high among young women who were working compared to those who were not working (AOR = 1.60, CI = 1.19–2.14). Young women who had their first sex at the age of 20–24 (AOR = 0.19, CI = 0.10–0.39) and those whose first sex occurred at first union (AOR = 0.57, CI = 0.34–0.96) had lower odds of having a pregnancy terminated compared to those whose first sex happened when they were less than 15 years. Young women with parity of three or more had the lowest odds of having a pregnancy terminated compared to those with no births (AOR = 0.39, CI = 0.21–0.75). The likelihood of pregnancy termination was lower among young women who lived in rural areas (AOR = 0.65, CI = 0.46–0.92) and those in the Upper East region (AOR = 0.18, CI = 0.08–0.39). The findings indicate the importance of socio-demographic factors in pregnancy termination among young women in Ghana. Government and non-governmental organizations in Ghana should help develop programs (e.g., sexuality education) and strategies (e.g., regular sensitization programs) that reduce unintended pregnancies which often result in pregnancy termination. These programs and strategies should include easy access to contraceptives and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education. These interventions should be designed considering the socio-demographic characteristics of young women. Such interventions will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.1 that seeks to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to fewer than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.