Improving second-trimester abortion care in Colombia

In 2006, the Colombian Constitutional Court voted in favor of depenalization of abortion in cases of rape, endangerment to the woman’s life or health, and fetal malformations. There was no gestational age limit specified in the law. However, few providers are trained to provide second-trimester abortion and it is very difficult to access later abortion in Colombia. The Oriéntame Clinic in Bogotá currently offers services up to 15 weeks gestation and is planning to offer later procedures in the near future. With colleagues at Oriéntame, we conducted a prospective cohort study, collecting data from 100 women in the first trimester and 200 women in the second trimester undergoing surgical abortion. We found that second-trimester abortion is being provided safely in this setting, and that women are very satisfied with the service. Satisfaction immediately after the procedure was significantly higher for second-trimester clients. The results of this study will add to the evidence base demonstrating the safety and acceptability of surgical second-trimester abortion.