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Induced abortion in a Southern European region: examining inequalities between native and immigrant women



To examine induced abortion (IA) inequalities between native and immigrant women in a Southern European region and whether these inequalities depend on a 2010 Law facilitating IA.


We conducted two analyses: (1) prevalence of total IAs, repeat and second trimester IA, in native and immigrant women aged 12–49 years for years 2009–2013 according to country of origin; and (2) log-binomial regression was used to quantify the association of place of origin with repeat and second trimester IAs among women with IAs.


Immigrants were more likely to have an IA than Spanish women, with the highest probability in Sub-Saharan Africa (PR 8.32 95 % CI 3.66–18.92). Immigrant women with an IA from countries other than Maghreb and Asia have higher probabilities of a repeat IA than women from Spain. Women from Europe non-EU/Romania were 50 % (95 % CI 0.30–0.79) less likely to have a second trimester IA, while women from Central America/Caribbean were 45 % (95 % CI 1.11–1.89) more likely than Spanish women. The 2010 Law did not affect these associations.


There is a need for parenthood planning programs and more information and access to contraception methods especially in immigrant women to help decrease IAs.

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This work was supported by the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU [project EHU14/55] and Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain [project CSO22013-44886-R]. The authors acknowledge Nieves Rodríguez-Sierra Huguet (Health Department of Basque Government, Spain) for providing data for this study.

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Correspondence to Elena Rodriguez-Alvarez.

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Rodriguez-Alvarez, E., Borrell, L.N., González-Rábago, Y. et al. Induced abortion in a Southern European region: examining inequalities between native and immigrant women. Int J Public Health 61, 829–836 (2016).

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  • Induced abortion
  • Immigration
  • Inequalities
  • Repeat induced abortion
  • Second trimester induced abortion