Knowledge and attitude towards abortion among women in Afghanistan


  • Saeeda Saeed Herat Maternity Hospital
  • Samarvir Jain Dayanand Medical College and Hospital
  • Nalianya Emma Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital
  • Habibah Afzali Afghanistan Center for Epidemiological Studies
  • Nosaibah Razaqi Khyber Girls Medical College
  • Mozhgan Ahmadi Ghalib University
  • Marjan Yousufi Herat University
  • Sudip Bhattacharya Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine



Abortion, Knowledge, Attitude, Herat, Afghanistan


Background: Abortion as the termination of pregnancy prior to 20 weeks of gestation or a fetus born weighing less than 500g. The purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge and attitude of women on abortion in Herat city of Afghanistan. This cross-sectional study also serves to fill up the gap of the scarcity of data on abortion.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among women aged over 18 years old from over the 15 districts of Herat city of Afghanistan during 25th March 2021 to 1st June 2021. A total of 419 women participated in this study.

Results: 30.3% of them were aged between 18-24 years old. 24.1% of the participants aged between 25-34 years old. 78.8% of the participants were married and 35.8% of the participants were Pashtuns. 41.5% of them heard about safe abortion methods. Only 23.4% of the participants had a good knowledge score on abortion. Good knowledge on abortion among participants were significantly associated with their ethnicity, educational level, father’s knowledge level, mother’s knowledge level, and economic status.

Conclusion: A comprehensive campaign on safe abortion covering all the ethical, religious, constitutional, and scientific domains should be considered by the ministry of Public Health. It is recommended that the ministry of education of Afghanistan consider organizing trainings on safe abortion for high school male and female students.

Author Biographies

Saeeda Saeed, Herat Maternity Hospital

Herat Maternity Hospital, Herat, Afghanistan.

Samarvir Jain, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital

Medical Faculty, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Tagore Nagar, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.

Nalianya Emma, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital

Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya.

Habibah Afzali, Afghanistan Center for Epidemiological Studies

Afghanistan Center for Epidemiological Studies, Herat, Afghanistan.

Nosaibah Razaqi, Khyber Girls Medical College

Medical Faculty, Khyber Girls Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Mozhgan Ahmadi, Ghalib University

Medical Faculty, Ghalib University, Herat, Afghanistan.

Marjan Yousufi, Herat University

Medical Faculty, Herat University, Herat, Afghanistan.

Sudip Bhattacharya, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences

Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandigarh, India.

Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


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How to Cite

Saeed, S., Jain, S., Emma, N., Afzali, H., Razaqi, N., Ahmadi, M., Yousufi, M., Bhattacharya, S., & Lucero-Prisno III, D. E. (2022). Knowledge and attitude towards abortion among women in Afghanistan. Razi International Medical Journal, 2(2), 52–62.




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