Mapping Research Trends on Illegal Abortion Behavior: A Bibliometric Study

  • Asep Kusnali Research Center for Public Health and Nutrition, National Research and Innovation Agency
  • Herti Windya Puspasari Research Center for Public Health and Nutrition, National Research and Innovation Agency
  • Intan Silviana Mustikawati Public Health Study Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, Esa Unggul University
Keywords: Bibliometric, abortion, research mapping


Research on the topic of illegal abortion is quite a concern, but more discussed macro in a legal point of view and health policy. Micro-analysis with a similar topic has been conducted on a limited basis with the background of the issue of illegality which cannot prevent abortion behavior. This study aims to analyze the scientific literature to find general trends and analyze indicators related to the topic of behavior from illegal abortion practices around the world. This paper uses a bibliometric methodology, utilizing data taken from the Scopus database from 1968 to 2021, and visualizing the data using the VOSviewer. 310 papers from different nations were uncovered in the investigation. When the study's findings are compared to the total number of citations and related publications, it becomes clear that the United States and the United Kingdom continue to dominate research on illegal abortion activity. The great majority of articles on this topic are mostly in the social science sector. By identifying keywords, it can be seen that the majority of research topics continue to center on large-scale issues including abortion, contraception, and unsafe abortion. This study enables us to define unlawful abortion in an individual setting as the behavior a person engages in when deciding to abort a pregnancy, regardless of whether it is carried out by themself, another person, medical professional, health workers, health facilities, or by other parties that deviate from the abortion laws that are in effect in the nation. This study offers crucial conclusions and suggestions for future thematic research opportunities that are sustainable.



Download data is not yet available.


Akande, O. W., Adenuga, A. T., Ejidike, I. C., & Olufosoye, A. A. (2020). Unsafe abortion practices and the law in Nigeria: time for change. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 28(1).

Anand, A., Gupta, A., Yadav, P., & Rijal, P. (2022). Suspected illegal abortion and unsafe abortion leading to uterine rupture and incomplete abortion: A case report. Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 84(August), 104933.

Arambepola, C., & Rajapaksa, L. C. (2014). Decision making on unsafe abortions in Sri Lanka: A case-control study. Reproductive Health, 11(1).

Biemelt, S., Tschiersch, H., & Sonnewald, U. (2004). Impact of altered gibberellin metabolism on biomass accumulation, lignin biosynthesis, and photosynthesis in transgenic tobacco plants. Plant Physiology, 135(1), 254–265.

Clark, M., Forstner, I., Pond, D. A., & Tredgold, R. F. (1968). Sequels of unwanted pregnancy. A follow-up of patients referred for psychiatric opinion. Lancet, 2(7566), 501–503.

Coast, E., Lattof, S. R., Rodgers, Y. V. D. M., Moore, B., & Poss, C. (2021). The microeconomics of abortion: A scoping review and analysis of the economic consequences for abortion care-seekers. PLoS ONE, 16(6 June), 1–21.

Committee on Health care for Underserved Women. (2020). Increasing Access to Abortion. In Obstetrics & Gynecology (Vol. 136, Issue 6).

Crawford, B. L., Jozkowski, K. N., Mena-Meléndez, L., & Turner, R. C. (2023). An exploratory examination of attitudes toward illegal abortion in the U.S. through endorsement of various punishments. Contraception, 121.

Davis, P., Sarasveni, M., Krishnan, J., Bhat, L. D., & Kodali, N. K. (2020). Knowledge and attitudes about the use of emergency contraception among college students in Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association, 95(1).

Dias, P. L., Reis, A. C. de F., Veiga, M. B. de A., Pena, L. H. G., & Lemos, A. (2014). Bibliometric Study of National Publications About Abortion. Journal of Nursing, 8(3), 4028–4037.

Donohue, J. J., & Levitt, S. D. (2001). The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime (No. 1; Issue 1).

Erdman, J. N., & Cook, R. J. (2020). Decriminalization of abortion – A human rights imperative. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 62, 11–24.

Fatusi, A., Riley, T., Kayembe, P. K., & Mabika, C. (2021). Unintended pregnancy, induced abortion and abortion care-seeking experiences among adolescents in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: A cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 11(9), 1–8.

Ferrari, W., & Peres, S. (2020). Itineraries of solitude: clandestine abortion among adolescents in a favela in Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone, Brazil | Itinerários de solidão: aborto clandestino de adolescentes de uma favela da Zona Sul do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Cadernos de Saude Publica, 36Suppl 1(Suppl 1), e00198318.

Ganatra, B., Gerdts, C., Rossier, C., Johnson, B. R., Tunçalp, Ö., Assifi, A., Sedgh, G., Singh, S., Bankole, A., Popinchalk, A., Bearak, J., Kang, Z., & Alkema, L. (2017). Global, regional, and subregional classification of abortions by safety, 2010–14: estimates from a Bayesian hierarchical model. The Lancet, 390(10110), 2372–2381.

Guttmacher Institute. (2022). Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion. In Issues in brief (Issue March, pp. 1–2).

Harrison, L. R. (2019). Religion in the African Public Square : Examining the Role of Religion in African Women ’ s Reproductive Rights (Issue May). Howard University.

Hinson, L., Bhatti, A. M., Sebany, M., Bell, S. O., Steinhaus, M., Twose, C., & Izugbara, C. (2022). How, when and where? A systematic review on abortion decision making in legally restricted settings in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. BMC Women’s Health, 22(1), 1–25.

Hjalmarsson, R., Mitrut, A., & Pop-Eleches, C. (2021). The impact of abortion on crime and crime-related behavior. Journal of Public Economics, 200, 104468.

Hunter, J., van Blerk, L., & Shand, W. (2021). The influence of peer relationships on young people’s sexual health in Sub-Saharan African street contexts. Social Science and Medicine, 288(113285).

Jacobs, S. A. (2019). Balancing Abortion Rights and Fetal Rights: A Mixed Methods Mediation of the U.S Abortion Debate (Issue June). University of Chicago.

Kassebaum, N. J., Bertozzi-Villa, A., Coggeshall, M. S., Shackelford, K. A., Steiner, C., Heuton, K. R., Gonzalez-Medina, D., Barber, R., Huynh, C., Dicker, D., Templin, T., Wolock, T. M., Ozgoren, A. A., Abd-Allah, F., Abera, S. F., Abubakar, I., Achoki, T., Adelekan, A., Ademi, Z., … Lozano, R. (2014). Global, regional, and national levels and causes of maternal mortality during 1990-2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet, 384(9947), 980–1004.

Kathpalia, S. K. (2016). Acceptance of family planning methods by induced abortion seekers: An observational study over five years. Medical Journal Armed Forces India, 72(1), 8–11.

Keegan, J., Parva, M., Finnegan, M., Gerson, A., & Belden, M. (2010). Addiction in pregnancy. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 29(2), 175–191.

Kerestes, C., Murayama, S., Tyson, J., Natavio, M., Seamon, E., Raidoo, S., Lacar, L., Bowen, E., Soon, R., Platais, I., Kaneshiro, B., & Stowers, P. (2021). Provision of medication abortion in Hawai‘i during COVID-19: Practical experience with multiple care delivery models. Contraception, 104(1), 49–53.

Kligman. (1992). The Politics of Reproduction in Ceauşescu’s Romania: A Case Study in Political Culture. East European Politics & Societies, 6(3), 364–418.

LaRoche, K. J., Jozkowski, K. N., Crawford, B. L., & Haus, K. R. (2021). Attitudes of US adults toward using telemedicine to prescribe medication abortion during COVID-19: A mixed methods study. Contraception, 104(1), 104–110.

Lattof, S. R., Coast, E., van der Meulen Rodgers, Y., Moore, B., & Poss, C. (2020). The mesoeconomics of abortion: A scoping review and analysis of the economic effects of abortion on health systems. PLoS ONE, 15(11), 1–26.

Lavelanet, A. F., Johnson, B. R., & Ganatra, B. (2020). Global Abortion Policies Database: A descriptive analysis of the regulatory and policy environment related to abortion. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 62, 25–35.

Lavelanet, A. F., Major, E., & Govender, V. (2020). Global Abortion Policies Database: a Descriptive Analysis of Financial Coverage for Abortion Care. Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports, 9(3), 105–111.

Lavelanet, A. F., Schlitt, S., Johnson, B. R., & Ganatra, B. (2018). Global Abortion Policies Database: A descriptive analysis of the legal categories of lawful abortion. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 18(1), 1–10.

Meekers, D. (1994). Sexual initiation and premarital childbearing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Population Studies, 48(1), 47–64.

Monte, M. E. (2017). Abortion, sexual abuse and medical control: the Argentinian Supreme Court decision on F., A.L. Sexualidad, Salud y Sociedad (Rio de Janeiro), 26, 68–84.

Osur, J., Orago, A., Mwanzo, I., & Bukusi, E. (2015). Social networks and decision making for clandestine unsafe abortions: Evidence from Kenya. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 19(1), 34–43.

Oyeyipo, E. J., Adeyemo, A. B., Arisukwu, O., Rasak, B., Igbolekwu, C. O., Josephine, K., Joseph, E., Adeyemo, A. B., Arisukwu, O., Oyeyipo, E. J., Adeyemo, A. B., & Arisukwu, O. (2020). Awareness on abortion legality among undergraduate students in Nigerian Universities Awareness on abortion legality among undergraduate students in Nigerian Universities. Cogent Social Sciences, 6(1), 1–11.

Paltrow, L. M., Harris, L. H., & Marshall, M. F. (2022). Beyond Abortion: The Consequences of Overturning Roe. American Journal of Bioethics, 22(8), 3–15.

Raymond, E. G., & Grimes, D. A. (2012). The comparative safety of legal induced abortion and childbirth in the United States. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 119(2), 215–219.

Reagan, L. J. (1991). When abortion was a crime: The legal and medical regulation of abortion, Chicago, 1880-1973. University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rickert, E. J. (1998). Authoritariamsm and economic threat: Implications for political behavior. Political Psychology, 19(4), 707–720.

Sattar, T., Ahmad, S., Saleem, U., & Maqsood, F. (2020). Influence of women’s reproductive autonomy on sex biased coercive miscarriages in rural establishments of south punjab, pakistan. Rawal Medical Journal, 45(2), 451–455.

Sharma, K. A., Zangmo, R., Kumari, A., Roy, K. K., & Bharti, J. (2020). Family planning and abortion services in COVID 19 pandemic. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 59(6), 808–811.

Singh, A., Mishra, R., Singh, K. K., & Verma, P. (2020). Abortions followed by contraceptive failures in Northern India: an analysis of contraceptive histories (2009–2014). Genus, 76(9), 1–20.

Singh, S., Juarez, F., Prada, E., & Bankole, A. (2019). Estimating Abortion Incidence: Assessment of a Widely Used Indirect Method. Population Research and Policy Review, 38(3), 429–458.

Somba, M. J., Mbonile, M., Obure, J., & Mahande, M. J. (2014). Sexual behaviour, contraceptive knowledge and use among female undergraduates’ students of Muhimbili and Dar es Salaam Universities, Tanzania: A cross-sectional study. BMC Women’s Health, 14(1).

Tschann, M., Ly, E. S., Hilliard, S., & Lange, H. L. H. (2021). Changes to medication abortion clinical practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contraception, 104(1), 77–81.

Valizadeh, F., Mohammadbeigi, A., Chaman, R., Kashefi, F., Nazari, A. M., & Motaghi, Z. (2021). Sexual and reproductive health challenges in temporary marriage: A systematic review. Journal of Research in Health Sciences, 21(1), 1–9.

World Health Organization. (2008). Unsafe Abortion: Global and Regional Estimates of the Incidence of Unsafe Abortion and Associated Mortality in 2008 (6th ed.). WHO.

Zandberg, J. (2021). Family comes first: Reproductive health and the gender gap in entrepreneurship. Journal of Financial Economics, 140(3), 838–864.

How to Cite
Kusnali, A., Puspasari, H. W., & Mustikawati, I. S. (2023). Mapping Research Trends on Illegal Abortion Behavior: A Bibliometric Study. Khizanah Al-Hikmah : Jurnal Ilmu Perpustakaan, Informasi, Dan Kearsipan, 11(1), 63-77.
Abstract viewed = 467 times