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Abortion and Postabortion Care in Guatemala: A Report from Health Care Professionals and Health Facilitiese

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In Guatemala, which has the highest fertility rate in Central America, women currently have more than four children; among the indigenous population, which accounts for 43% of the total population, women have more than six. Although the roportion of married women who use a modern contraceptive method has risen in recent years, it now stands at 34%. Increases in use are not keeping pace with declines in desired family size. Nearly one-third of recent births to Guatemalan women were unintended, and 28% of women have an unmet need for contraception. Unfortunately, and sometimes with tragic results, many Guatemalan women turn to abortion when they lack the means to carry out their reproductive goals.