Do perceived contraception attitudes influence abortion stigma? Evidence from Luanda, Angola


Abortion stigma is influenced by a variety of factors. Previous research has documented a range of contributors to stigma, but the influence of perceived social norms about contraception has not been significantly investigated. This study assesses the influence of perceived social norms about contraception on abortion stigma among women in Luanda, Angola. This analysis uses data from the 2012 Angolan Community Family Planning Survey. Researchers employed multi-stage random sampling to collect demographic, social, and reproductive information from a representative sample of Luandan women aged 15–49. Researchers analyzed data from 1469 respondents using chi-square and multiple logistic regression. Researchers analyzed women’s perceptions of how their partners, friends, communities, and the media perceived contraception, and examined associations between those perceptions and respondents’ abortion stigma. Stigma was approximated by likelihood to help someone get an abortion, likelihood to help someone who needed medical attention after an abortion, and likelihood to avoid disclosing abortion experience. Higher levels of partner engagement in family planning discussion were associated with increased stigma on two of the three outcome measures, while higher levels of partner support of contraception were associated with decreased stigma. Perceived community acceptance of family planning and media discussion of family planning were associated with a decrease in likelihood to help someone receive an abortion. These results suggest that increasing partner support of family planning may be one strategy to help reduce abortion stigma. Results also suggest that some abortion stigma in Angola stems not from abortion itself, but rather from judgment about socially unacceptable pregnancies.

Ndola Prata
Madeline Blodgett
Benjamin Nieto-Andrade
Publication date: 
July 17, 2018
Publication type: 
Journal Article