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SOCIO ECONOMIC CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF ABORTION AMONG WOMEN LIVING IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN KENYA : A CASE OF KIBERA
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ABSTRACT

Abortions though illegal in the country have been going on unabated amongst women living in informal settlements. The constitution of Kenya does not permit abortion unless the life of the mother is in danger. The study thus sought to find out the causes and consequences of abortion among women living in informal settlements.

The research problem was geared towards understanding the factors inform decision to abort among women living in informal settlements. The objectives of the study were to examine social demographic profile of women who procure abortion, to establish the social economic factors that lead to abortion among women living in the informal settlements, to determine the social economic and health effects of abortion on women who procure abortions, and to examine the perception of the women on mitigation measures of abortion.

The research was descriptive and studied the case of Kibera slums. The target population was women living in informal settlements and key informants relevant to the study. Multistage sampling method was used to select the respondents while purposeful sampling was used to select key informants. A questionnaire was administered through face to face interview and key informants guides used to collect primary data. The study also used secondary data obtained from various published sources. The research findings were presented in frequencies, percentages and in tabular form.

The research findings established that on average one in every three women who have ever been pregnant living in informal settlements has procured an abortion. Forty one percent of those who procured abortions indicated socio economic conditions led them to abort. The study also established that six out of ten women who procured abortions visited traditional midwives for abortion services because they are easily accessible and available. On mitigation measures, seventy percent of respondents noted that families need to observe strict families codes to reduce unwanted pregnancies which in turn resulted to illegal abortions.

This study findings shows that lack of strong policies on abortion has led to women seeking abortion services from backstreet practitioners against a backdrop of a stigmatizing community of medics and expensive services for women seeking help on post abortion services. This has resulted to death, social and economic effects to concerned women. The government needs to develop supportive policies in source of livelihoods, governance and provision of basic services in reproductive health to reduce unwanted pregnancies amongst women thus decimating illegal abortions. 

http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/handle/11295/8859