Factors Affecting Abortion Decisions among Young Couples in Nepal


The purpose of this study was to explore, using both survey data and case studies, factors that are associated with abortion decisions among young couples in the context of recently legalized abortion in Nepal.

This article draws primarily on data collected in detailed case histories of 30 participants selected from a sample of the respondents to a survey of 997 married women aged 15 to 24 years and 499 men aged 15 to 27 years collected in 2003. Bivariate analyses of the survey data are presented in summary form to provide some general contextual background, with the key themes that emerged from analysis of the case histories being described.

Almost half of the young women in the survey reported that they had ever experienced an unintended pregnancy. A considerable proportion of these couples thought about abortion but the majority of them did not take any action. Some of them had attempted abortion but only few had succeeded. Multiple factors, including socio-cultural beliefs, affect the decision-making phase, making the process dynamic and situation-specific. Husbands and health service providers play a major role in the decision-making process.

The study highlights the need to scale up family planning and abortion services to young couples, and emphasizes the importance of involving men and service providers in public education and advocacy campaigns against unsafe abortion. It also points to the need for wider education in the community about family planning and legal abortion services, as well as for the transparent pricing of services and greater efforts to enhance women’s decision-making capacities and control over their reproductive options.


Puri, M.; Ingham, R.; Matthews, Z. Factors Affecting Abortion Decisions among Young Couples in Nepal. Journal of Adolescent Health (2007) 40 (6) 535-542. [DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.01.010]

Factors Affecting Abortion Decisions among Young Couples in Nepal

Published 1 January 2007