“ Between morality and reality”: midwives and doctors views on adolescent abortion and contraceptive counselling in Vietnam

Marie Klingberg, Karolinska Institutet
Marie Klingberg-Allvin, Karolinska Institutet
Anna-Berit Ransjo-Arvidson, Karolinska Institutet
Annika Johansson, Karolinska Institutet

Background: Vietnam has one of the highest abortion rates in the world and adolescent abortions are thought to constitute at least one third of all cases. Health providers are important in guiding adolescents on how to protect their reproductive health, but there is a lack of studies on the health providers’ views and attitudes on these issues. Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the attitudes of doctors and midwives to adolescent sexuality, contraception and abortion. Methods: Non-participatory observations of care in abortion clinics and focus group discussions were used to collect data which were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Findings: Two major themes emerged, reflecting the contradictions between the cultural norms condemning pre-marital sexual relations and the reality of the health care providers working in abortion services. The moral dilemma of health providers in relation to adolescents in reproductive health services should be considered in their training programmes.

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Presented in Session 49: Adolescent reproductive health