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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)