What do Women Really Pay?: Personal Social and Economic Costs of Abortion in Cambodia

Rukmini Potdar, University of Maryland
Tamara Fetters, Ipas

This study examines the direct medical costs, non-medical costs and lost income incurred by a sample of 88 women seeking abortions from a heterogeneous group of abortion providers in Cambodia. Data were collected from respondents twice, immediately prior to discharge from the index abortion procedure and 14 days following the procedure. Descriptive analysis was used to explore costs incurred in relation to several explanatory variables. Results indicate that costs incurred varied by employment status, gestational age, type of abortion provider, type of uterine evacuation procedure and the number of visits required to terminate the pregnancy. The study underscores the need for more accessible and affordable abortion services. Even in the Cambodian context, where abortion is unrestricted during the first trimester of pregnancy, study findings indicate that the process of obtaining safe abortion care was costly to women.

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Presented in Session 138: Abortion as a Recourse for Fertility Control