Abortion among adolescents in Cuba

Jorge Peláez Mendoz, Aldo Rodriguez Izquiendo, Cristina Lammers, Robert Wm Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To understand which adolescents in Havana, Cuba, seek abortions and reasons for pregnancy termination. Methods: The sample included all adolescents (n = 248) under the age of 20 years who sought pregnancy termination over a 1-month period in 1995. The participants completed a questionnaire exploring a range of issues including age of onset of sexual intercourse, pregnancy history, and reasons for pregnancy termination. Results: There was no difference in age of onset of sexual intercourse between pregnancy adolescents who did and did not seek an abortion. Three fourths of all adolescents who aborted a pregnancy were students, and interruption of studies were a major reason for pregnancy termination. Other reasons included being a single mother and poor socioeconomic conditions. More than half of those who sought to terminate their pregnancy did so at a clinic outside of the community in which they lived. Conclusions: As in other countries, in Cuba, concerns over education interruption remain the predominant reason for abortion. Likewise, while abortion has been legal and widely available in Cuba since 1969, there remains sufficient stigma so that over half of young women seen pregnancy termination outside their community of residence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-62
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortion
  • Adolescents
  • Cuba
  • Pregnancy termination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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