Who is excluded when abortion access is restricted to twelve weeks? Evidence from Maputo, Mozambique

Momade Bay Ustá, Ellen M H Mitchell, Hailemichael Gebreselassie, Eunice Brookman-Amissah, Amata Kwizera

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


In Mozambique, since 1985, induced abortion services up to 12 weeks of pregnancy are performed in the interest of protecting women's health. We asked whether any women were being adversely affected by the 12-week limit. A retrospective record review of all 1,734 pregnant women requesting termination of pregnancy in five public hospitals in Maputo in 2005-2006 revealed that it tended to be those who were younger and poorer, with lower levels of education, literacy and formal employment who were coming for abortions after 12 weeks. Countries such as Mozambique that endeavor to enhance equality, equity and social justice must consider the detrimental effect of narrow gestational limits on its most vulnerable citizens and include second trimester abortions. We believe the 12-week restriction works against efforts to reduce maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion in the country.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReproductive Health Matters
Issue number31 Suppl
Pages (from-to)14-17
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Abortion, Induced/statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Humans
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Mozambique
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Justice


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