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Intimate partner violence as a determinant of pregnancy termination among women in unions: evidence from the 2016–2018 Papua New Guinea Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Williams Agyemang-Duah, Bernard Yeboah-Asiamah Asare, Collins Adu, Amma Kyewaa Agyekum, and Prince Peprah
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, 2023; DOI: 10.1017/S002193202300007X
Topic(s): Abortion
Domestic violence
Pregnancy outcomes
Women's health
Country: Oceania
  Papua New Guinea
Published: MAY 2023
Abstract: There is a demonstrated link between intimate partner violence (IPV) and pregnancy termination, and this association has received much attention in developed settings. Despite the high prevalence of IPV in Papua New Guinea (PNG), little is known about the association between these experiences and pregnancy termination. This study examined the association between IPV and pregnancy termination in PNG. The present study used population-based data from the PNG’s first Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in 2016–2018. The analysis involved women aged 15–49 years who were in intimate unions (married or co-habiting). We used binary logistic regression modelling to analyse the association between IPV and pregnancy termination. Results were reported as crude odds ratios (cOR) and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Overall, 6.3% of women involved in this study had ever terminated a pregnancy, and 6 in 10 women (61.5%) reported having experienced IPV in the last 12 months preceding the survey. Of those women who experienced IPV, 7.4% had ever terminated a pregnancy. Women who had experienced IPV had a 1.75 higher odds of reporting pregnancy termination (cOR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.29–2.37) than women who did not experience IPV. After controlling for theoretically and empirically relevant socio-demographic and economic factors, IPV remained a strong and significant determinant of pregnancy termination (aOR: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.22–2.30). The strong association between IPV and pregnancy termination among women in intimate unions in PNG calls for targeted policies and interventions that address the high prevalence of IPV. The provision of comprehensive sexual reproductive health, public education, and awareness creation on the consequences of IPV, regular assessment, and referral to appropriate services for IPV may reduce the incidence of pregnancy termination in PNG.