Knowledge and attitudes about abortion legislation and abortion methods among abortion clients in Latvia

I. Melgalve, G. Lazdane, I. Trapenciere, C. Shannon, H. Bracken, B. Winikoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To assess knowledge of abortion legislation and knowledge and attitudes about medical and surgical abortion among women seeking a legal abortion in Latvia. Methods: Data are drawn from a survey of 371 abortion clients from 16 purposively selected abortion clinics in Latvia. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data and information on women's knowledge of and attitudes toward abortion law and abortion methods. Results: Most women knew that abortion is legal either under any (53%) or certain (37%) circumstances. Almost one third (31%) of women interviewed were aware of medical abortion. After hearing a description of medical abortion, respondents felt the method as described would be advantageous because it could avoid a surgical intervention (33%) or found it simple, easy, convenient, or natural (12%). Women were concerned that the method might not be completely effective (38%) or be associated with side-effects (22%). Conclusions: Respondents were interested in medical abortion as a less invasive option to surgical abortion. Efforts should be undertaken to inform women about the safety and efficacy of the method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • Abortion
  • Abortion legality
  • Abortion methods
  • Latvia
  • Medical abortion

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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