November 2016

Quality of care in a safe-abortion hotline in Indonesia: Beyond harm reduction

Gerdts C and Hudaya I. Quality of care in a safe-abortion hotline in Indonesia: Beyond harm reduction. American Journal of Public Health. November 2016; 106(11): 2071-2075.

Objectives: To examine services offered by safe-abortion hotlines in contexts in which abortion is legally restricted and to document the experiences of women contacting a safe-abortion hotline in Indonesia.

Methods: We analyzed 1829 first-time contacts to a safe-abortion hotline in Indonesia as a part of routine service provision between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014.

Results: Nearly one third (29.9%) of initial contacts reported their age as between 18 and 24 years, and most (51.2%) reported being unmarried. When asked about their reason for calling the hotline, the majority of initial contacts stated that they were pregnant and not ready to have a child. More than one third reported gestational ages below 12 weeks, and nearly one fifth (18.3%) reported a gestation of 13 weeks or greater.

Conclusions: These unique data provide a window of understanding into who contacts safe-abortion hotlines and why, and enable exploration of future directions for research on the role of safe-abortion hotlines in women’s access to safe abortion.

Public Health Implications: Safe-abortion hotlines should be evaluated not only for reducing harm but also for providing high-quality abortion care.