This paper explores whether the likelihood of abortion by education changed over time in Finland, where comprehensive family planning services and sexuality education have been available since the early 1970s. This subject has not previously been studied longitudinally with comprehensive and reliable data. A unique longitudinal set of register data of more than 250,000 women aged 20-49 born in 1955-59, 1965-69, and 1975-79 was analysed, using descriptive statistics, concentration curves, and discrete-time event-history models. Women with basic education had a higher likelihood of abortion than others and the association grew stronger for later cohorts. Selection into education may explain this phenomenon: although it was fairly common to have only basic education in the 1955-59 cohort, it became increasingly unusual over time. Thus, even though family planning services were easily available, socio-economic differences in the likelihood of abortion remained.
Women's contraceptive choices may change after an induced abortion, due to contraceptive counselling or a behavioural change prompted by the experience. The effect may vary between women; sociocultural background, for example, may affect their subsequent reproductive choices.
We examined whether women's current contraceptive use was differently associated with a history of induced abortion among immigrant groups in Finland (Russian, Kurdish and Somali) and the general Finnish population.
We analysed data from two surveys, the Migrant Health and Wellbeing study and the Health 2011 study, linked to the Finnish register of induced abortions. Propensity score weighted logistic regression was used to analyse the data.
The likelihood of using contraceptives after an abortion varied depending on women's sociocultural background. A history of induced abortion increased contraceptive use among all groups, except Russian women, in whom there was no effect. The effect was particularly strong for Kurdish women.
Sociocultural background was an important determinant of post-abortion contraceptive use. Some immigrants may struggle to navigate the Finnish health care system due to language or literacy issues. Attention should be paid to improving access to family planning among these groups.
The proportion of repeat abortions among all abortions has increased over the last decades in Finland. This study examined the association of education with the likelihood of repeat abortion, and the change in this association over time using reliable longitudinal data. A unique set of register data from three birth cohorts were followed from age 20 to 45, including about 22,000 cases of repeat abortion, and analysed using discrete-time event-history models. Low education was found to be associated with a higher likelihood of repeat abortion. Women with low education had abortions sooner after the preceding abortion, and were more often single, younger and had larger families at the time of abortion than more highly educated women. The educational differences were more significant for later than earlier cohorts. The results show a lack of appropriate contraceptive use, possibly due to lack of knowledge of, or access to, services. There is a need to improve access to family planning services, and contraceptives should be provided free of charge. Register data overcome the common problems of under-reporting of abortion and attrition ensuring the results are reliable, unique and of interest internationally.
Aims: Understanding the differences in reproductive-health behaviours between native and migrant populations helps provide good reproductive-health services. We investigate the differences in induced abortion rates, pregnancy histories and use of contraceptives between native and migrant populations in Finland. Methods: The Finnish Register on Induced Abortions was linked with Population Register data from years 2001-2014 to identify first- and second-generation immigrants. The data included 142,708 induced abortions. Results: Abortion and contraceptive use varied between women of Finnish and foreign origins. Native women had a lower abortion rate than women born abroad. Women born in Somalia and India had the highest likelihood for having an abortion shortly after birth. The highest risk for having an abortion soon after previous induced abortion was among women born in Iran, Iraq, Somalia and former Yugoslavia. The risk for having more than two induced abortions was the highest for women born in Russia/the former Soviet Union and Estonia. Second-generation immigrants had a lower abortion rate than first-generation immigrants. Lack of contraceptive use prior to abortion was more common among women born abroad. Conclusion: There were differences in pregnancy histories and in the use of reliable contraceptive methods before an induced abortion by country of birth. The higher likelihood for abortion after a recent birth among first-generation immigrants highlights the need for more targeted counselling immediately after childbirth. Although the abortion rate is lower among second-generation immigrants, the neglect of contraceptive use calls for additional education in sexual and reproductive health.
Teenagers of low socioeconomic status are more likely to get pregnant, and less likely to choose abortion, than more privileged teenagers. Few studies have used longitudinal data to examine whether these differences persist as overall teenage pregnancy rates decline.
Nationally representative register data from 259,242 Finnish women in three birth cohorts (1955-1959, 1965-1969 and 1975-1979) were analyzed using Cox regression to assess socioeconomic differences in teenagers' risks of pregnancy and abortion. Binary logistic regression was used to assess socioeconomic differences in the odds of pregnant teenagers' choosing abortion.
Socioeconomic differences in abortion risk did not change substantially across cohorts; however, differences in the risk of childbirth rose between the first two cohorts and then returned to their earlier level. In all cohorts, teenagers from upper-level employee backgrounds, the most privileged group, had the lowest risks of abortion and childbirth (44-53% and 53-69% lower, respectively, than those for manual workers' children). Teenagers whose parents were lower-level employees or farmers also had reduced risks of both outcomes in all cohorts; results for other socioeconomic groups were less consistent. Pregnant teenagers from upper-level employee backgrounds had 2-3 times the odds of abortion of manual workers' children; the largest difference was found in the 1950s cohort.
Despite the declining overall teenage pregnancy rate, poorer background continues to be associated with a higher risk of conceiving and of giving birth.