Trends in inequalities in induced abortion according to educational level among urban women

Gloria Pérez, Irene García-Subirats, Maica Rodríguez-Sanz, Elia Díez, Carme Borrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study aims to describe trends in inequalities by women's socioeconomic position and age in induced abortion in Barcelona (Spain) over 1992-1996 and 2000-2004. Induced abortions occurring in residents in Barcelona aged 20 and 44 years in the study period are included. Variables are age, educational level, and time periods. Induced abortion rates per 1,000 women and absolute differences for educational level, age, and time period are calculated. Poisson regression models are fitted to obtain the relative risk (RR) for trends. Induced abortion rates increased from 10.1 to 14.6 per 1,000 women aged 20-44 (RR = 1.44; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.41-1.47) between 1992-1996 and 2000-2004. The abortion rate was highest among women aged 20-24 and 25-34 and changed little among women aged 35-44. Among women aged 20-24 and 25-34, those with a primary education or less had higher rates of induced abortion in the second period. Induced abortion rates also grew in those women with secondary education. In the 35-44 age group, the induced abortion rate declined among women with a secondary education (RR = 0.66; 95% CI 0.60-0.73) and slightly among those with a greater level of education. Induced abortion is rising most among women in poor socioeconomic positions. This study reveals deep inequalities in induced abortion in Barcelona, Spain. The trends identified in this study suggest that policy efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies are failing in Spain. Our study fills an important gap in literature on recent trends in Southern Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-530
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Educational level
  • Induced abortion
  • Pregnancy planning
  • Reproductive health
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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