Perception of university students about abortion: the case of Makerere University
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Many young people are sexually active and it’s important to establish what their thoughts are on abortion since its illegal in Uganda. This study aimed at understanding what kind of perceptions university students at Makerere University had about abortion in terms of knowledge of costs, complications and service providers. The study also aimed to establish the major influences of these perceptions in terms of gender, year of study, costs, religion and culture. And lastly it aimed to understand the circumstances under which they thought it was acceptable or not acceptable to carry out an abortion. The study approach was qualitative in nature and data for this study was collected through in depth interviews with the study participants who were active students of Makerere University. The sample size was purposively selected from different faculties at the university to represent the whole population of study. The major findings from the study were that most university students were not fully aware of the abortion laws in Uganda and therefore they are restricted in terms of decision making in case they are in such a predicament. When it came to the costs and service providers of abortion healthcare, most of the study participants were aware of which places offer safe abortion and the most mentioned places were Marie Storpes and Reproductive Health Uganda. The costs of abortion that were mentioned ranged from 50,000 ugshs to one million ugshs depending on the method of abortion and that is pills or the use of a machine. The major influence of perception towards abortion was found to be the lack of financial resources to take care of the child which meant that irrespective of the fact that one was in first year or second year, staying at campus or not, they would consider abortion if they felt they were not financially capable of taking care of the child. Following closely to that was the influence of religion as those who swore never to carry out an abortion had this as their biggest restriction. These findings have a number of implications and these include the importance of making abortion legal as it was found that unsafe abortion were the most sought after because they are affordable. It also means that abortion laws should be widespread in the communities so that people can know when it’s safe to carry out an abortion in terms of legality.