“Deseado no era pero querido es” – An anthropological study on perceptions and attitudes on abortions and unwanted pregnancies in Choloma, Honduras

Understanding attitudes and perceptions of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in Choloma/ Honduras has to do with Christianity, pro-life politics, a strict anti-abortion law as well as geography and is shaped around social, political and economic forces.Choloma, the third largest city of Honduras, is highly industrialised and demanding, attracting people from other parts of the country to work in one of the many maquilas (fabrics). It is an overcrowded place lacking basic infrastructure with increasing poverty and high levels of violence in the homes and on the streets. Choloma is a modern consumer society; religion plays an important role in daily life. Having children is a necessity – though not too many and not too early – for women and men alike as children are regarded as a blessing. In 2016, Médecins sans Frontiéres (MSF) regarded Choloma as an ideal place to identify, document, treat and at best prevent the consequences of unsafe abortion practices as statistics and estimations indicated many cases. MSF provides medication abortions for women in need. In order to achieve that objective a comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (SRH) package was implemented in the Clinica Materno Infantil (CMI). Outreach activities, involving sexual education, psychological care and medical attention started in spring 2018. The provision of basic SRH care at community level, a strong psychological component and sexual education for all are key components.


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This study was conducted by Bernadette Schausberger on behalf of MSF OCG and the MSF Vienna Evaluation Unit.
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