IPR Seminar, Michelle O'Brien, Demography, Ohio State

October 3, 2018
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
038, Townshend Hall
Michelle O'Brien
Title: Does exposure to armed conflict affect the likelihood of inducing abortion? The case of post-war Tajikistan

Abstract: The relationship between exposure to conflict and abortion is relatively unknown. Much of the prevailing focus has been on reproductive health for refugees, and the experience of forced abortion as a human rights violation during war.  However, access to safe abortion is a critical component of reproductive health. Understanding how exposure to war and violence affects abortions can provide insight into women’s family planning decisions in times of uncertainty, and inform better development policies aimed at improving women’s health in the aftermath of war.  Due to social stigma and legal restrictions, conducting research on abortion in conflict-affected areas can present a resource burden and logistical challenge. In this research, I use cohort analysis to examine abortions in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic that provides a unique case in which abortion has historically been widely available and legal under any circumstance. Unlike many other conflict-affected areas, abortions in Tajikistan have been legal and relatively free of social stigma for decades, allowing for more reliable survey research. The findings suggest that armed conflict affects abortion – especially for women at peak childbearing age when the conflict begins. These findings contribute to our understanding of family planning in the midst of conflict.
 

 

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