How involved are partners in teenage girls’ abortions?
Martine Aeby-Renaud1, Geneviève Sandoz1, Gaëlle Aeby2 1Hôpital universitaire de Genève, Unité de Santé Sexuelle et de Planning Familial, Genève, Switzerland, 2Collaboration, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland - firstname.lastname@example.org
Voluntary termination of pregnancy is an important issue, in particular for teenage girls. However, less attention is paid to their partners, to who they are, whether and how they get involved in the process. This study investigates the involvement of male partners in the process of voluntary termination of pregnancy (VTP) for teenage girls up to ages 18 inclusive, who consulted with the "Sexual Health and family planning unit (USSPF)" (Geneva, Switzerland) in 2013. The final sample is composed of 43 teenage girls. Ages range from 15 to 18 years old. Prior to their pregnancy, around two thirds of the teenage girls had used one or more contraceptive methods. They mentioned male condoms (81.4%), emergency contraception (32.6%), the pill (30.2%), withdrawal (18.6%), calendar method (2.3). Nevertheless, 37.2% of them had not yet used any method. The great majority of teenage girls were in a relationship (86%). For the rest of them, it was either a one-night stand (9.3%), or sex with a friend (4.7%). The duration of relationships ranged from 2 months to 4 years. Age of partners ranged from 15 to 28 years old. On average, partners were older than the teenage girls with a mean of 2.91 years difference in age. Most of the partners were informed about the pregnancy (90.2%). Concerning their involvement in the VTP process, analyses were restricted to couples. We considered three variables: attendance at USSPF (yes: 41.7%), giving support (yes: 88.6%), and agreement with the VTP (yes: 93.9%). In summary, results showed that the majority of teenage girls were in a stable committed relationship that lasted at least several months. Partners were involved in the VTP process and provided support. Therefore, counsellors should more actively associate them in the VTP process for better prevention of contraceptive failure and experience of VTP.