Woman-centered research on access to safe abortion services and implications for behavioral change communication interventions: a cross-sectional study of women in Bihar and Jharkhand, India

Woman-centered research on access to safe abortion services and implications for behavioral change communication interventions: a cross-sectional study of women in Bihar and Jharkhand, India

Abortion has been legal in India since 1971, and the availability of safe abortion services has increased. However, service availability has not led to a significant reduction in unsafe abortion. This study aimed to understand the gap between safe abortion availability and use of services in Bihar and Jharkhand, India by examining accessibility from the perspective of rural, Indian women.The authors conclude that behavior change communication interventions, which address negative perceptions by improving community knowledge about abortion and support local availability of safe abortion services, are needed. Interpersonal approaches that engage community leaders and influencers may also counteract negative social norms and associated stigma. Collaborative actions of government, NGOs and private partners should capitalise on this potential power of communities to reduce the impact of unsafe abortion on rural women.

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