Men’s support for abortion in Upper East and Upper West Ghana

Heather M. Marlow, Alhassan Mohammed Awal, Samuel Antobam, Selorme Azumah, Elizabeth Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The second leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana is unsafe abortion. Research in Ghana shows that men’s support influences women’s use of safe abortion services. The aim of this study was to understand what men know about abortion, why they support their partners to seek an abortion, and to identify effective ways to reach men with abortion information. We conducted eleven focus groups and ten in-depth interviews with men of reproductive age in rural Ghana. Inclusion criteria were written consent, age and marital status. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in local languages using a semi-structured guide. Focus groups and interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, translated, computerised and coded for analysis. Most men knew the difference between unsafe and safe abortion and would support their partner to have an abortion. Messages that reinforce safe abortion as acceptable and that address fears of death or barrenness should be developed to educate men about safe abortion. Multiple channels to communicate these messages should be used and include pictures, video or audio for those men who cannot read. Through an intensive intervention inclusive of men, women’s access to safe abortion services can be improved in Ghana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1331
Number of pages10
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2019


  • Abortion
  • Ghana
  • beliefs
  • men
  • support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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