Youth who seek post-abortion care (PAC) services have different needs and experiences than their adult counterparts. Young women are generally more vulnerable than older women to unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and abortion-related complications due to factors such as limited knowledge about sexuality and reproduction, stigma, limited access to contraception and quality health services, and a greater likelihood of experiencing forced or coerced sex. Young women are also more likely to face barriers to receiving a package of services for women who experience complications after a spontaneous or induced abortion. PAC for all women should include emergency treatment for potentially critical complications of abortion, family planning counseling and services, evaluation and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV counseling and testing, or appropriate referrals. More research is needed to determine the most effective ways to tailor PAC to the unique needs of youth.

Current recommendations for improving PAC services for young women include ensuring young women’s and girls’ privacy; offering a range of contraceptive methods without requiring consent from parents or partners; and conducting advocacy activities to clarify the definition and legality of PAC in various contexts to reduce stigma, build trust, and increase the acceptance of PAC services.

Post-abortion family planning: a critical component of postabortion care

This USAID High Impact Practices in Family Planning (HIP) brief discuss the evidence for “proactively offering voluntary contraceptive counseling and services at the same time and location where women receive facility-based postabortion care.” While not specific to youth, there are subsections of the brief that discuss youths’ experiences. (2019)

Timing of abortion among adolescent and young women presenting for post-abortion care in Kenya: a cross-sectional analysis of nationally-representative data

This peer-reviewed article showcase data from adolescents and young women and their timing of presentation for post-abortion care. (2018)

What Factors Contribute to Postabortion Contraceptive Uptake By Young Women? A Program Evaluation in 10 Countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

This peer-reviewed article “assesses the factors that influence contraceptive uptake among adolescents and young women seeking abortion care in health facilities.” (2017)

Abortion Care for Young Women: A Training Toolkit

This toolkit was created to help ensure that all abortion care programs and services are accessible to and appropriate for young women. It is a global resource for health-care providers, trainers, administrators, program managers, health system officials and technical advisors of abortion care programs and services. It is designed to provide information and guidance on delivering and ensuring access to appropriate induced abortion care for young women (ages 10-24). It also provides experienced trainers with the background information, materials, instructions and tips necessary to effectively facilitate training sessions (2011).

The Potential Role of mHealth in Meeting the Needs of Young PAC Clients

This presentation highlights how mobile health (mHealth) can support the fve essential elements of PAC via one-way communications (SMS, MobiSite) and two-way communication (interactive voice response, hotlines). In particular, mHealth presents a useful way to meet the PAC, contraception, and reproductive health needs of youth. 27% of the 5.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions are to people under 30, and mHealth presents a possible confidential method for sharing health messages with youth (2013).

Youth-Friendly Postabortion Care: Supplemental Training Module Trainer’s Manual

This is a supplemental training to be added to a comprehensive PAC health provider training or used as a refresher training for practicing PAC providers.  The goal is to improve providers ability to offer high-quality PAC services to adolescent clients ages 10-19. The training module is organized around the five essential elements of PAC: community and service provider partnerships, counseling, treatment of incomplete and unsafe abortion, contraceptive and family planning services, and reproductive and other health services (2012).

Assessment of Youth-Friendly Postabortion Care Services: A Global Tool for Assessing and Improving Postabortion Care for Youth

This tool is designed to help assessment teams, project managers, supervisors, and providers collect detailed information on the quality of PAC services provided to adolescents at a given facility in order to make services more youth-friendly.  It can also be used before PAC services have been established to see how best to design PAC services to meet youth's needs (2008).