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Abortion and its legalization: an overview of the opinion of doctors in Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka

Authors:

R. P. A. Dinethri,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About R. P. A.
Undergraduate, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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N. Roshanthan,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About N.
Undergraduate, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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M. A. P. A. Perera,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About M. A. P. A.
Undergraduate, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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W. D. O. Wasana,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About W. D. O.
Undergraduate, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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A. A. B. S. Perera,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About A. A. B. S.
Undergraduate, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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M. Vidanapathirana ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About M.
Professor, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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K. Wijewardena,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About K.
Senior Professor, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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K. A. P. Siddhisena

University of Colombo, LK
About K. A. P.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Demography
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Abstract

Introduction: According to Sri Lankan law, the only indication for abortion is when the life of the mother is in danger. Abortion is the third commonest cause for maternal mortality in Sri Lanka. Therefore, to make a change in current legal situation of abortion in Sri Lanka, it is important to assess the opinion on abortion especially from doctors, because they deal directly with maternal and child health.

 

Method: According to random sampling method, a self-administered questionnaire was given to 207 doctors at the Teaching Hospital Colombo South, Sri Lanka.

 

Results: Almost all (97%) agreed to perform abortion when mothers’ life is in danger and 76% agreed when mother’s health in danger. As overall opinion 57% agreed in special medical conditions such as Anencephaly, Down syndrome, Thalassemia major and hemophilia. Further, 68% agreed with abortion when ‘Rape’ and ‘Incest’, however, when rape presents as the condition disagreement of Muslims was statistically significant (p<0.05). Most (74%) disagreed with social conditions such as contraceptive failure, family health in danger, family with low income and higher number of children. When contraceptive failure or family health in danger presents as the condition, the disagreement of less than 10 years of experience doctors was statistically significant (p<0.05). Majority (69%) agreed for legalization of abortion in Sri Lanka for more conditions. Regarding advantages, 66% agreed and 65% reported that there will be disadvantages after legalization of abortion.

 

Conclusion: In addition to, when mother’s life is in danger, majority agreed to include medical conditions such as when mother’s health is in danger and four other special medical conditions, and legal situations such as rape and incest. However, majority disagreed on social conditions.
How to Cite: Dinethri, R.P.A. et al., (2016). Abortion and its legalization: an overview of the opinion of doctors in Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka. 4(1), pp.11–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v4i1.7331
Published on 28 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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