Attitudes towards abortion, contraception and abstinence In rural and urban Burkina Faso, 2000-2001

Clementine Rossier, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

The main mode of fertility control in rural, high fertility, African contexts is female abstinence; secret abortions repair occasional bents to the sexual codes. Fertility control patterns in urban, low fertility, African settings are more complex: why is contraceptive use low and abortion use high? We will examine here how the meaning systems framing individuals’ birth control choices are changing as fertility declines in West Africa. Using quantitative data, we will compare attitudes towards two means of family planning, contraception and abortion, distinguishing circumstances where abstinence has been a favourite local social script, from situations where abstinence is absent from the cultural repertoire. To capture the effect of social change (including religious changes) on individuals visions of varied birth control modes, we will contrast attitudinal data collected in a high fertility rural setting in 2000 (n=1500 individuals) to a similar survey undertaken in 2001 in the capital of Burkina Faso.

  See paper

Presented in Session 6: Reproductive health