The Fertility Transition in Latin America

By José Miguel Guzmán; Susheela Singh et al. | Go to book overview
The impact of induced abortion on the fertility transition in Latin America will continue to be significant. Recent historical experience suggests that even with a continued increase in contraceptive prevalence, the incidence of induced abortion in Latin America will remain high, at least through the 1990s, even if its legislation continues to be restrictive. Such a situation implies serious reproductive health, and economic as well as social, problems for a large number of women and their families. These problems ought to be taken into account and dealt with by appropriate public and private institutions.
Appendix 9.1: Methods and Background Date Used to Estimate Reasonable Range of Induced Abortion Numbers, Rates and Impact in Latin America
The basic demographic data are females 15-49 (106.3 million) and observed live births (12.4 million [line 1]1 for 1985-90 ( UN 1988 and 1989a). Potential live births, assuming natural fertility, were calculated for alternatives I to 4 by multiplying females 15-49 (106.3 million) by hypothetical GFRs, of 200, 210, 220, and 230 births per 1,000 females 15-49 [line 2]. The total number of births averted by birth control [line 3] is the difference between line 2 and line 1. To estimate births averted by contraception [line 3a], one first has to calculate the GFR that would result if no contraception were used. The formula is the following: observed GFR/[1 - eU/f] ( Bongaarts and Potter 1983). The respective data are: observed GFR = 117; e, the use effectiveness index, = 0.84, which is based on method mix; U = 0.75 × 0.59, based on 59 per cent contraceptive prevalence rate among married women (UN 1989b) and an assumed 75 per cent of females 15-49 in union; f, the proportion of fecund among women in union, = 0.9; the result of the calculation, i.e. GFR assuming no contraception, is 199; and the number of births assuming no contraception is 21.1 million; minus the actual number of births, 12.4 million, equals the number of births averted by contraception, 8.8 million [line 3a]. The number of births averted by induced abortion [line 3b) is then the difference between line 3 and line 3a. The actual number of induced abortions [line 4] is estimated with the following formula: line 3b/0.4[1 + eU] ( Bongaarts and Potter 1983), which takes into account that more than one abortion is needed to avert one birth, and equals 0.5487; concepts e and U are described and their values are given above. Line 5 = line 4/line 1 × 100. Line 6 = line 4/females 15-49 × 1000. The total abortion rate [line 7] is estimated by multiplying line 6 by 0.035 (number of years in the childbearing period divided by 1,000).
References
Acosta, M., Botton-Burla, E, Dominguez, L., Molina, I., Novelo, A., and Nunez, K. ( 1976), Abortion in Mexico ( Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica).
Anon. ( 1978), 'Falling Mortality in Chile', People, 5/2.
Atkin, L. C. and Givaudan, M. ( 1989), "'Perfil Psicosocial de la Adolescente Embarazada Mexicana'", in S. Karchmer (ed.), Temas Selectos en Reproducción Humana ( Mexico City), 123-33.
____________________
1
Line nos. refer to Table 9.3.

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