Preventing Adolescent Births: Delaying versus Spacing in Mexico City’s Public Abortion Program

Blair G. Darney , Oregon Health & Science University
Evelyn Fuentes-Rivera
Biani Saavedra, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)
Patricio Sanhueza, Ministry of Health, Mexico
Raffaela Schiavon, Ipas

We identified women who used abortion to delay first births versus those who sought to space births in Mexico City’s public first trimester abortion program, Interrupcion Legal de Embarazo (ILE). We hypothesized that younger women, especially students, used abortion to delay first births while older women used abortion to space births. We used clinical data from a sample of 47,462 women who had an abortion 2007-2016 and classified them as delaying or spacing according to previous births (none versus one or more) prior to the abortion. We used logistic regression to identify sociodemographic, time, and clinical factors associated with delaying versus spacing and calculated absolute multivariable predicted probabilities. Overall, 41% of abortions were to delay a first birth; 59% were among women who already had one child or more (spacing). The adjusted probability of using abortion to delay a first birth was 80.5% (CI = 78.4 – 82.6) for women 12-17 years old and 54.3% (CI = 51.5 – 57.2) for women 18-24 years old. Adolescents (12-17 years old) who were employed or students had nearly 90% adjusted probability of using abortion to delay a first birth (employed 87.9; 95% CI = 83 – 92.8; students 88.6; 95% CI = 83.1 – 94.1). At all ages, employed women and students had higher probabilities of using abortion to delay a first birth compared with unemployed women and women who work in the home. Legal first trimester abortion services in Mexico can help delay first births in adolescents, especially students.

See paper

 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course