Delays and barriers to care in Colombia among women obtaining legal first- and second-trimester abortion
Baum S, DePiñeres T, Grossman D. Delays and barriers to care in Colombia among women obtaining legal first- and second-trimester abortion. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015 Dec;131(3):285-8.
Objective: To evaluate delays before first- or second-trimester legal abortion and barriers to care in Colombia.
Methods: A secondary analysis was undertaken of data from a prospective cohort study of women undergoing first-trimester (<12 weeks) and second-trimester (12-15 weeks) abortion between February and July 2012. Participants (aged ≥18 years with access to a telephone) reported key dates in their abortion process and barriers to care. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Overall, 100 women in the first trimester and 200 in the second trimester were included. Second-trimester clients experienced longerdelays in each step of the abortion process than did first-trimester clients (P<0.001 for all three intervals examined), with the largest delay being time to suspicion of pregnancy (37 days vs 17 days). Difficulty accessing care was associated with the second trimester (odds ratio 5.1, 95% CI 2.9-9.1) and low socioeconomic status (odds ratio 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.3). Financial barriers were the most common (30 [30.0%] first-trimester clients; 86 [43.0%] second-trimester clients).
Conclusion: Despite partial decriminalization of abortion in 2006, Colombian women still face barriers to legal services that probably contribute to late presentation. Interventions promoting early pregnancy recognition and information about how to access legal abortion could reduce the need for second-trimester services.