The Educational Gradient in the Occurrence of Repeat Abortion in Finland in 1975-2010
Heini E. Väisänen, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Few studies have examined how education is associated with repeat abortion using reliable longitudinal data, although such association reveals whether some women continuously suffer from worse access to family planning, lack of contraceptive knowledge, or other factors associated with repeat unintended pregnancy. This study analyses a unique set of Finnish register data of ~260,000 women aged 20-45 in 1975-2010. Low education was associated with a higher risk of repeat abortion and women with low education had abortions sooner after previous pregnancy, were more often single, and had larger families at the time of abortion than women with high education. The educational differences were more modest for the 1950s birth cohort than for the 1960-70s cohorts. There is a need to evaluate accessibility of family planning services in Finland. Lack of underreporting of abortions in register data ensures these results are reliable, unique and of interest to policy-makers and researchers internationally.