Knowledge and attitudes about abortion legislation and abortion methods among abortion clients in Latvia
OBJECTIVE: To assess knowledge of abortion legislation and knowledge and attitudes about medical and surgical abortion among women seeking a legal abortion in Latvia. METHODS: Data are drawn from a survey of 371 abortion clients from 16 purposively selected abortion clinics in Latvia. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data and information on women's knowledge of and attitudes toward abortion law and abortion methods. RESULTS: Most women knew that abortion is legal either under any (53%) or certain (37%) circumstances. Almost one third (31%) of women interviewed were aware of medical abortion. After hearing a description of medical abortion, respondents felt the method as described would be advantageous because it could avoid a surgical intervention (33%) or found it simple, easy, convenient, or natural (12%). Women were concerned that the method might not be completely effective (38%) or be associated with side-effects (22%). CONCLUSIONS: Respondents were interested in medical abortion as a less invasive option to surgical abortion. Efforts should be undertaken to inform women about the safety and efficacy of the method.