Is "abortion culture" fading in the former Soviet Union? Views about abortion and contraception in Kazakhstan

Victor Agadjanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Soviet legacy of widespread reliance on induced abortion is of critical importance to reproductive trends and policies in post-Soviet nations, especially as they strive to substitute contraception for abortion. Using data from two Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1995 and 1999, this study analyzes and compares trends in abortion and contraception, women's attitudes toward abortion, and their perceptions of problems associated with abortion and contraception in Kazakhstan. Despite an overall decline in abortion and an increase in contraceptive use since Kazakhstan's independence in 1991, abortion has remained a prominent part of the country's reproductive culture and practices. This study shows how abortion-related views reflect the long-standing ethnocultural differences between the indigenous Kazakhs and Kazakhstan's residents of European roots, as the latter continue to have significantly higher levels of abortion. The study, however, also reveals the internal diversity among Kazakhs with respect to abortion experiences and views, stemming from decades of the Soviet sociocultural influence in Kazakhstan. In addition, the analysis points to some generational differences in views concerning abortion and contraception. Finally, the study demonstrates parallels in attitudes toward abortion and toward contraception, thereby questioning straightforward assumptions about the replacement of abortion with contraception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in Family Planning
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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