Thursday, March 16, 2006

third abortion in two years

When I first moved to Armenia almost four years ago I was dismayed to learn that the average woman in Armenia has numerous abortions in her lifetime. Many older women have spoken to me openly about the more than 20+ abortions they've had - why? because their husbands refuse to use any sort of protection. Sadly, I recently learned that a friend of mine just got her third abortion in two years. She's in her mid-twenties and refuses to go on birth control because she "prefers" not to ingest any sort of medicine. Odd how abortion is okay yet medicine is not...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet... the Bush Administration refuses to release UNFPA funding that would promote family planning and education regarding different types of birth control. Withholding UNFPA funding also hurts countries like Armenia.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this seems to be something widespread in former soviet union countries and most new reports are just about russian women. i found that in my limited conversations on the subject - ok, now 5+ years ago- that women in armenia often use abortions as birth control after having had their families - not before. i also got the impression that culturally abortion is viewed more as a medical birth control procedure and is not connected to ending the life of a fetus in the way that we view it in the united states. at that time there was a japanese organization showing videos to women to shift opinion about abortion- with cartoon depictions of the fetus "running and crying" as the attempted abortion was taking place. also, there seemed to be a fear that a married woman using birth control pill would be assumed to be a having an affair and to use it to avoid becoming pregnant with another man's child... and that it increases unwanted body hair- a struggle of middle eastern women and that condoms aren't often considered. the consequences for women's health and bodies are terrible...

1:28 AM  
Blogger Arsineh said...

Do people in Armenia know that abortion is more of a risk than the birthcontrol? Especially in those numbers... that's unbelievable.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous shag said...

yeah wen i was in armenia last year, being a female, i learned that abortion is almost as common as sex in armenia.
ohh i dont think programs for family plannin would work there.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Andreas said...

shag, i disagree. i see first hand how family programing programs work very well...what's your opinion based on?

12:34 PM  
Blogger nazarian said...

There was a report in Haykakan Jamanak a few days ago saying that the number of abortions is on the decline, and the cause they mentioned was the availability of the birth control pills.

Of course, if a woman thinks that the abortion is a safer approach than the pill, you can't do much about that statistically.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are several reasons abortions were and are such a commonplace in armenia:
1) in soviet times condoms were either unavailable or if you could find them - quality was terrible
2)pill was not available
3)as far as i know abortions were allowed only in the first trimester, not later than that
4)culturally - this was an atheist country and yes, abortion was not viewed as ending a life, but as a simple family planning procedure
5)pill - it has been around for just 40 years and it is not perfect. Weight gain, hormonal disbalance, etc... are some of the known effects of it
6)abortion might be even cheaper than buying condoms or the pill

8:53 PM  
Blogger shooosh said...

I happen to know that birth control is VERYYYYY cheap in Armenia, FOR SURE cheaper than an abortion, and probably cheaper than always purchasing condoms. I think a majority of the issue is to educate women about the affects of abortion to their bodies, and empowering them to believe they have other choices.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were attempts to teach family planning in Armenia, but the response was ridiculous. USAID funded public announcement films on TV showed an Armenian couple with one child, and some extremists started to attack the US Embassy accusing them of being part of a Zionist plot to destroy Armenia by reducing the population. Go figure.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if anyone will see this such a long time after the original post... I was looking for some insights. Also, apologies for butting in. ;)

I'm an American charged with writing a report using Armenia data that studies trends in a variety of demographic indicators, one of which is abortion.

The thing about the "trend" in abortion (there are only data for two points in time, so hardly a trend does that make, but anyway...) is that it looks like there has been a precipitous decline in abortion between 2000 and 2005. And yet, the fertility levels in Armenia have not changed, and the use of contraceptives has actually declined over the study period (largely because there are more men who have migrated away from home). If there had really been such a big decline in abortion, you would expect to see an increase in fertility and/or an increase in uptake of contraceptives. But that hasn't happened.

Yet and still, several sources suggest that abortion is declining.

Some have suggested a possible explanation for these counterintuitive findings: that women are now going for medical (injection/pill/cytotec) abortion rather than surgical abortion; these may not then be reported as abortions. Thus, it would look like women are not getting abortions, when in fact they are terminating a pregnancy, but just very early, with drugs, instead of later/with surgery.

Any thoughts? Thanks, if anyone sees this, and sorry again for butting in, especially on such a week when you have lost your compatriot.


10:33 AM  

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