Who Cares? Pre and Post Abortion Experiences among Young Females in Cape Coast Metropolis, Ghana

Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Eugene K.M. Darteh, Harriet Blemano, Hagar Asare

Abstract

Issues of abortion are critical in Ghana largely due to its consequences on sexual and reproductive health. The negative perception society attaches to it makes it difficult for young females to access services and share their experiences. This paper examines the pre and post abortion experiences of young females; a subject scarcely researched in the country. Twenty-one clients of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) clinic at Cape Coast were interviewed. Guided by the bio-psychosocial model, the study revealed that fear of societal stigma, shame, and rejection by partners, as well as self-imposed stigma constituted some of the pre and post abortion experiences the respondents. Other experiences reported were bleeding, severe abdominal pain and psychological pain. The Ghana Health Services (GHS) and other service providers should partner the PPAG clinic to integrate psychosocial treatment in its abortion services while intensifying behaviour change communication and community-based stigma-reduction education in the Metropolis. (Afr J Reprod Health 2015; 19[2]: 43-51)

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