Researchers did this study to examine how misoprostol’s availability has impacted women’s abortion-seeking behavior in Pakistan. The research design used was focused on ethnography.

A facility provides reproductive health services, including induced abortions in a small town in Northern Punjab, Pakistan.

Twenty-three women came to the clinic seeking an abortion or had had one in the last six months, and fourteen healthcare providers working in the facility.

Researchers conducted thirty-seven semi-structured interviews, a focus group discussion, and forty-one participant observation. Latent content analysis was conducted, drawing on constant comparison principles to generate critical themes in reported experiences.

All the respondents had sought an abortion to limit their fertility. However, some reported contraceptive use, improper use, undesirable side effects, and restrictions on use had led to unwanted pregnancy. Women specifically requested misoprostol within days of their pregnancy, suggesting that they not only had knowledge of misoprostol as a backup in case of contraceptive failure but may have pre-planned its use in place of using contraception.

The study concluded that the Misoprostol’s availability, ease of use, and effectiveness had increased the role of abortion in fertility control.