The medical abortion experiences of married and unmarried women in Tunis, Tunisia

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Context: The study explores the social dimensions of abortion in Tunisia and offers evidence supporting the provision of medical abortion to special populations, such as young and unmarried women. Methods: For this study we recruited 222 women (unmarried: n = 101, married: n = 121) at three clinics in Tunis, Tunisia, from April 1999 to March 2001. All eligible women who consented to participate were administered a simplified regimen of medical abortion consisting of 200 mg oral mifepristone + 400 μg oral misoprostol 2 days later either at home or in the clinic. Results: Our results demonstrate that unmarried women (94.8%) are as likely as married women (94.1%) to have a successful abortion using this regimen. We noted a strong initial preference for home administration of misoprostol among both groups (unmarried: 73.3%, married: 80.2%), which grew even stronger after the procedure. Women indicated that home administration is desirable because transportation to the clinic is expensive (32.7%), home administration is more confidential (26.3%), easier and more convenient (12.8%). Both groups expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the method. Conclusions: Medical abortion with the option of home administration of misoprostol is safe and feasible for special populations; such as unmarried women in Tunisia.