Reproductive Justice

20 de April, 2023

Induced abortion among adolescents from Teresina in the State of Piauí, Brazil (Histórias de aborto provocado entre adolescentes em Teresina, Piauí, Brasil), 2013.

This paper analyzes the methods, techniques, and support networks used by adolescents for illegal abortions. It is a descriptive and cross-sectional study involving interviews with 30 adolescents who had been hospitalized for uterine curettage in two public hospitals in Teresina between June and November 2011. Informed consent was given orally, and the interviews were recorded after the confirmation of the induced abortion. Most of the adolescents were between 14 and 17 years old, single, predominantly lived with their parents in urban areas, had little schooling and a gestational age of 12 weeks. Between 3 and 6 tablets of Cytotec were taken orally and/or vaginally by 28 (94%) adolescents, and they were rushed to the hospital due to severe cramping, vaginal bleeding or both. They either bought Cytotec alone (43%, 13), or with the help of a friend or partner (40%, 12). Cytotec was sold to them in ordinary pharmacies, by the owner (45%, 13) or clerk (55%, 55), who provided instructions for use. They went to the hospital with their mother (40%, 12) or a girl friend (30%, 9). Three (10%) adolescents developed serious complications. The study revealed that Cytotec is the main method used to perform illegal abortions among adolescents.

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