Journal Article

Measuring induced abortion in Mexico: A comparison of four methodologies

The authors compare four methods of collecting information on abortion through survey research to measure the levels of induced abortion in Mexico: face-to-face interview (FTF), audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI), self-administered questionnaire (SAQ), and a random-response technique (RRT). They tested all methods in three samples: (1) hospital patients in Mexico City, (2) rural women in Chiapas, and (3) women randomly chosen as part of a house-to-house survey in Mexico City. In each sample, RRT found the highest rate of attempted induced abortion in the hospital, rural, and household samples (21.7, 36.1, and 17.9 percent, respectively), followed by the SAQ (19.3, 10.1, and 10.8 percent, respectively). The ACASI and FTF interviews yielded fewer reported abortion attempts. The RRT seems the most promising methodology to measure the levels of induced abortion. With SAQ, detailed information was obtained, and the reported frequency rates were slightly lower than the RRT rates in urban areas.