Induced Abortion in Lomé, Togo

Trends and Role in Fertility Decline
By Afiwa N’Bouke, Anne-Emmanuèle Calvès, Solène Lardoux, Lynda Springer


Despite recent modifications, the Togolese law on abortion remains restrictive, and most induced abortions are practised illegally. By combining an indirect (residual) method with a direct one, this study analyses abortion trends in Lomé, the capital of Togo. It also looks at changes in the timing and prevalence of abortions across different cohorts. Lastly, it establishes the relative role of abortion in the fertility decline observed in Lomé. The article uses data from the 1988 and 1998 Togo Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and from a 2002 survey on family planning and induced abortion in Lomé (Enquête sur la planification familiale et l’avortement provoqué à Lomé). The results suggest that abortion is increasing in the Togolese capital city. The number of abortions is particularly high among younger cohorts, who are more likely to have abortions than older women at the same ages. It would seem that abortion, which mainly occurs early in a woman’s reproductive life, is being used as a form of birth control, resulting in a reduction of at least 10.8% in potential fertility.


  • induced abortion
  • methodology
  • estimation
  • abortion rate
  • cohorts of women
  • fertility
  • Togo
  • sub-Saharan Africa
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