Abortion-Related Deaths in Brazil: A Case Study

Sandra Valongueiro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Alessandra Chacham, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais

This study aims to disclose how many female deaths are abortion-related and, why those deaths persist as contributing factor of maternal mortality in the Northeast of Brazil, in a context of restrict abortion laws. The RAMOS method was used to identify the abortion-related deaths, and in-depth interviews were conducted with relatives, close friends and the health staff to investigate the circumstances in which these deaths occurred. Among the cases investigated, one was a miscarriage and other was a suicide. All women tried to interrupt the pregnancy secretly, without asking for help or support from their partners, friends or parents. The abortion attempts occurred around or after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and they sought health care more than once before dying. Although all abortion-related deaths were reported on the death certificates, the medical records were lost. The abortion-related deaths remain as a consequence of the illegal condition of abortion in Brazil.

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Presented in Poster Session 7