This study probed both the meanings women ascribe to their unwanted pregnancies and the drivers of their choices in relation to the management of such pregnancies.
Cross-sectional qualitative in-depth individual interviews were conducted with 80 women and girls in Nairobi, Kenya.
Gender, livelihoods, morality, marital status, and male partners exerted extensively complex and multidimensional influence on women's management of their unintentional pregnancies. For instance, although gender norms were frequently invoked to justify terminating unwanted pregnancies, they also regularly provided strong motivations for carrying such pregnancies to term.
Urgently needed are programs and policies that support women to avoid unwanted pregnancies and help them respond safely and pragmatically to such pregnancies when they occur.