In Sri Lanka, induced abortion is a criminal offence except to save the life of the mother. This study determined the awareness and views of the law on abortion among women seeking an abortion. Three hundred and thirteen women were interviewed. The characteristics of the study group are discussed. 65.8% of the respondents stated they knew the current law, 25.6% stated they did not and 8.3% were unsure. On detailed analysis of each respondent's knowledge regarding the situations where abortion is legalized including those who stated that they did not know the law, only 11.2% had an accurate knowledge. More than 75% stated that abortion should be legalized when the mother's life was in danger, where there was pregnancy after rape or incest, when there was psychiatric illness in the mother and when there were fetal anomalies. Reasons for resorting to an abortion are discussed. Although 11.2% were aware of the law, there was no difference in the reasons for resorting to an abortion when compared with those who were unaware of the law. This study highlights the fact that availability of abortion services to women depend not only on the law and its awareness, but on how it is interpreted and enforced.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2009|
- Illegal abortion
- Induced abortion
- Pregnancy termination