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INTEGRATION. 1991 Sep; (29):8-15.This article describes the urgent need for modern family planning (FP) services and supplies in the Soviet Union, and presents the nation's high induced abortion rate as one of its most serious medical and social problems. With more than 6 million legal abortions per year, and another estimated 6 million performed illegally, the problem of induced abortion is placed on par with heart disease and cancer in the Soviet Union. Induced abortion is the primary method of birth control, responsible for terminating 2 out of 3 pregnancies. Many abortion seekers, especially those employing illegal services, suffer complications resulting in loss of ability to work or even death. The maternal mortality rate for 1988 was 43.0/10,000. Efforts to decrease the level of abortion have increased during reconstruction, and have been witness to a decline in the number of abortions by 866,000 over the period 1985-1988. Contributory factors behind this decline, as well as the decrease of the abortion ratio, are an increased contraceptive prevalence level totalling 13.7% of reproductive-age women, stabilization of the birth rate at a low level, a smaller proportion of reproductive-age women in the population, and rate reporting changes. Nonetheless, inadequate family planning services prevail in the Soviet Union. Instead of focusing upon abortion and contraception, services focus upon diagnosing and treating infertility, and offer neither FP information nor services for premarital youths. Moreover, contraceptive supplies suffer serious, ongoing shortages. Research is needed on the social, demographic, medical, and biological aspects of reproductive behavior in the Soviet Union. Regional differences, abortion law, public opinion on illegitimate pregnancy, abortion methods, health personnel training, and maternal and child health are also discussed.
Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publications, 1980. 246 p. (Sage Library of Social Research Vol. 100)This book's objective is to describe the circumstances surrounding adolescent pregnancy, demonstrate the need for social support, and describe how these supports might be offered. It contains 2 basic thrusts. The early chapters describe the adolescent pregnancy problem and the parallels between the development of the adolescent pregnancy and the potential child maltreater. What follows from this description is the author's sense of methods which will help to reduce the risks generated by participation in either, or both, of these environments. The information presented in this volume suggests that the time for joint study of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy has arrived. The demand for correlational study of these 2 social situations is viable for 4 interrelated reasons: both child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy are social phenomena which demonstrate a dramatic increase in reported incidence in the past 25 years; both child maltreaters and adolescents who have experienced pregnancy appear to share multiple demographic or situational variables, i.e., minority overrepresentation, low income, low education, and high unemployment; the development of the maltreating event and the adolescent pregnancy reveal an unusual similarity, and the intergenerational aspects of both problems could well be strongly related to the snowball effect that these problems have on each other; and if the problems of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy are found to be symbiotic in their support of each other, rather than independent responses to a uniform social context, the direction of prevention efforts in these 2 areas could produce beneficial reductions in the rates of both problems. The best hope for the provision of prevention services in adolescent pregnancy rests within an alteration in public fears and misconceptions related to welfare dependency, contraceptive use, sexual education and information, and possibly even a general view of the adolescent in society. There is no question that contraceptive programming for the adolescent can serve as a vital preventive measure. The cornerstone of this service returns the perspective to education. Preventive services must include education for contraception, education for appropriate decision making, and education for survival of a parent and child. The community-based multidisciplinary system for the adolescent pregnancy or parent has been demonstrated to be the most effective model for programming today. It is also the most difficult program to find or or develop. Services to adolescents must begin as soon as community standards will permit them to be initiated to prevent the occurrence of the problem. Only when a collage of services in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation realms is available for the individual adolescent can it be said that a meaningful program exists.