Effectiveness of a behavior change communication intervention to improve knowledge and perceptions about abortion in Bihar and Jharkhand, India
Although abortion became legal in India in 1971, many women are unaware of the law. To evaluate the effectiveness of a behavior change communication intervention to improve women’s knowledge about India’s abortion law and their perceptions about abortion, a quasi-experimental study was conducted in intervention and comparison districts in Bihar and Jharkhand. Household surveys were administered at baseline in 2008 and at follow-up in 2010 to independent, randomly selected cross-sectional samples of rural married women aged 15–49. CONCLUSIONS: Behavior change communication interventions can be effective in improving knowledge of and perceptions about abortion in settings in which lack of accurate knowledge hinders women’s access to safe abortion services. Multiple approaches should be used when attempting to improve knowledge and perceptions about stigmatized health issues such as abortion.