Contraceptive paths of adolescent women undergoing an abortion in France

Caroline Moreau, James Trussell, Nathalie Bajos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: Although more than 30,000 teenagers had an induced abortion in France in 2007 (14.3% of all abortions), little is known about their abortion experience. We explore young women's decisions related to their abortion and the patterns of abortion care among teenagers in France, and draw particular attention to the contraceptive circumstances surrounding the abortion. Methods: The data are drawn from the French National Survey of Abortion Patients conducted in 2007, comprising 1,525 women aged 1319 years. Results: A majority of French teens (82%) reported their pregnancy was unplanned and took on the responsibility of having an abortion: 45% made the decision alone, 46% shared the decision with their family or partner, and 9% reported the decision was made on their family's or partner's request alone. Sixty-nine percent of teenagers were eligible for both medical and surgical abortions, but only 43% thought they were given a choice of methods. Two-thirds of pregnancies were caused by contraceptive misuse or failure, mostly due to condom slippage or breakage (26%) or inconsistent pill use (20%). In 68% of cases, teenagers were prescribed a more effective method than the one they were using before, although only 11% received a prescription for a long-acting method. One in five teenagers reported not receiving a prescription for contraception. Conclusions: Our results reveal varying degrees of young women's autonomy in the decisions regarding their abortion. Although most teens switch to more effective methods of contraception after an abortion, only a minority receives a prescription for a long-acting method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Contraception behavior
  • France
  • Induced abortion
  • National survey
  • Patient-centered care
  • Teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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