2010 • 11

Relationships between contraception and abortion: the problematic issue of prevention in Latin America

Agnès Guillaume and Susana Lerner


In Latin America, in spite of a high contraceptive prevalence among married women, many unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion occur. This statement questions the issue of prevention of pregnancy and mainly this of an absence of a preventive culture for men and women. First, these difficulties are analyzed considering the individual barriers to prevention: - the contraceptive practice around an unwanted pregnancy is analyzed through different studies to explain unexpected pregnancies and abortion - the awareness of pregnancy risk pending on social level and the condition of sexuality- and men involvement as actor or barrier in this prevention according to their relationships are considered.

In the second place, institutional barriers are considered: barriers coming from conservative or religious groups, health systems or society.

Results presented come from the review of the literature on abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean realized from 1990 to 2005 and from some recent publications.


Prevention, abortion, contraception, men, barriers of access, Latin America.

Working Paper 11
Working Paper 11
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Ce working paper est également disponible en français : Contraception et avortement : le problème de la prévention en Amérique Latine