Indigenous Women of Latin America: Unintended Pregnancy, Unsafe Abortion, and Reproductive Health Outcomes


Indigenous women in Latin America have poorer repro­ductive health outcomes than the general population and face considerable barriers in accessing adequate health services. Indigenous women have high rates of adolescent fertility and unintended pregnancy and may face increased risks for morbidity and mortality related to unsafe abortion. However, research among this pop­ulation, particularly focusing on social and cultural implications of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion, is significantly limited. This article reviews the literature on unsafe abortion in Latin America and describes suc­cessful interventions to ameliorate reproductive health outcomes within Indigenous communities. It also explores important implications for future research. Shedding light on the circumstances, perspectives, and lived realities of Indigenous women of childbearing age, could encourage further qualitative investigation and mitigate negative outcomes through improved understanding of the topic, targeted culturally appropriate interventions, and recommendations for future policy and programming reformations.

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