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The discourses on induced abortion in Ugandan daily newspapers: a discourse analysis
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8947-2949
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2015 (English)In: Reproductive Health, ISSN 1742-4755, E-ISSN 1742-4755, Vol. 12, 58Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Ugandan law prohibits abortion under all circumstances except where there is a risk for the woman's life. However, it has been estimated that over 250 000 illegal abortions are being performed in the country yearly. Many of these abortions are carried out under unsafe conditions, being one of the most common reasons behind the nearly 5000 maternal deaths per year in Uganda. Little research has been conducted in relation to societal views on abortion within the Ugandan society. This study aims to analyze the discourse on abortion as expressed in the two main daily Ugandan newspapers.

Method: The conceptual content of 59 articles on abortion between years 2006-2012, from the two main daily English-speaking newspapers in Uganda, was studied using principles from critical discourse analysis.

Results: A religious discourse and a human rights discourse, together with medical and legal sub discourses frame the subject of abortion in Uganda, with consequences for who is portrayed as a victim and who is to blame for abortions taking place. It shows the strong presence of the Catholic Church within the medial debate on abortion. The results also demonstrate the absence of medial statements related to abortion made by political stakeholders.

Conclusions: The Catholic Church has a strong position within the Ugandan society and their stance on abortion tends to have great influence on the way other actors and their activities are presented within the media, as well as how stakeholders choose to convey their message, or choose not to publicly debate the issue in question at all. To decrease the number of maternal deaths, we highlight the need for a more inclusive and varied debate that problematizes the current situation, especially from a gender perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 12, 58
Keyword [en]
Abortion, Discourse, Gender, Girls, Health, Law, Pregnancy, Religion, Stigma, Uganda, Women
National Category
Research subject
Health and Welfare
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-18722DOI: 10.1186/s12978-015-0049-0ISI: 000356765000001PubMedID: 26108479OAI: diva2:841293
Available from: 2015-07-13 Created: 2015-07-13 Last updated: 2016-05-31Bibliographically approved

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Klingberg-Allvin, Marie
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