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Background: Induced abortion (IA) has shown social inequality related to birthplace and education with higher rates of IAs in immigrant and in less educated women relative to their native and highly educated counterparts. This study examined the independent and joint effects of birthplace and education on IA, repeated and IA performed during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy among women residing in the Basque Country, Spain.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional population-based study of IA among women aged 25–49 years residing in the Basque Country, Spain, between 2011 and 2013. Log-binomial regression was used to quantify the independent and joint effects of birthplace and education attainment on all outcomes.

Results: Immigrant women exhibited higher probability of having an IAs (PR: 5.31), a repeated (PR: 7.23) or a 2nd trimester IAs (PR: 4.07) than women born in Spain. We observed higher probabilities for all outcomes among women with a primary or less education relative to those with a graduate education (All IAs PR: 2.51; repeated PR: 6.00; 2nd trimester PR: 3.08). However, no significant heterogeneity was observed for the effect of education on the association of birthplace with IAs, repeated or 2nd trimester IAs.

Conclusions: Birthplace and education are key factors to explain not only an IA decision but also having a repeated or a 2nd trimester IA. However, the effects of birthplace and education may be independent from each other on these outcomes. A better understanding of these factors on IAs is needed when designing programs for sexual and reproductive health aimed to reduce inequalities among women.


This article was originally published in BMC Public Health, available at DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3984-y.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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