Sopen Chunuan

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    Situations of abortion and criminal abortion in the southern part of Thailand

    Chunuan Sopen, Ph.D., Asst. Prof. Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand

    Co-authors: Kosunvanna Siriratana, Sripotjanart Wattana, and Jitsai Lawantrakul (Asst. Profs,

    Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University), Jitti Lawantrakul MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist,

    Hatya Hospital, Uaiporn Pattrapakdikul ,Nurse Specialist, Nursing Division, Songklanagarind Hospital

    Abortion is a major public health concern in the developing countries.  Accurate measurement of the type

    of abortion has proven difficult in many parts of Thailand. Thai health care providers need information on the incidence of both legal and illegal abortion to provide the needed services and to reduce the negative impact of unsafe abortion on women’s health.

    The purposes of this descriptive study were to:

    1) survey the incidence rate of legal and illegal abortion in the southern part Thailand

    2) identify causes, complications and impacts of abortion

    3) explore the decision making before conducting unsafe abortion.

    This study was carried out in 2007 in 6 governmental hospitals. The samples consisted of 402 women with abortion.  In addition, twenty women with unsafe abortion were deeply interviewed about the decision making process before conducting abortion. The structural instruments were used for data collection. The content validity was judged by 5 experts. Descriptive and content analysis were used.

    Results showed that more than one-third of women had unsafe abortion (35.7%). Forty-two percent of women with abortion were in young women under 24 years of age (n = 168).  Causes of abortion were social problem (34.08%), family problems (26.12%), and women’s health problems (21.64%). Nearly one-third of women had severe abdominal pain (29.6%), fever (18.4%), and anemia (15.4%), and shock (4.5%).  Half of women had only psychological problems (50.5%). The majority of subjects made their own decision to terminate their pregnancy (n = 119) and almost half of them performed unsafe abortion by themselves (n = 71).

    Most women in the interviewed group would like to terminate their pregnancy as soon as possible (n = 14). After they had completed abortion they felt released and then they felt guilty. They suggested that the public hospital should provide safe abortion for women with unplanned pregnancy. These study findings indicated that most of women with unsafe abortion experienced psychological and economical problems; thus, health care providers should offer the counseling program to reduce women’s problems and to improve their quality of lives.