Phnom Penh Post - Abortions pose hidden risk for Cambodia's sex

Sex workers wait for clients late at night near Wat Phnom in downtown Phnom Penh in 2009. Sovan Philong
Sex workers wait for clients late at night near Wat Phnom in downtown Phnom Penh in 2009. Sovan Philong
Sex workers wait for clients late at night near Wat Phnom in downtown Phnom Penh in 2009. Sovan Philong

Abortions pose hidden risk for Cambodia’s sex workers: study

Posted in the Phnom Penh Post
By Erin Handley
Publication date 28 November 2016

A shocking 40 percent of maternal deaths among Cambodian sex workers were the result of abortions, according to a recent study.

The research, published online last week in peer-reviewed journal BioMed Central Public Health, surveyed 271 female sex workers to ascertain the major causes of death for mothers in the industry and their children.

Study author and Global Health Promise director Brian Willis said his research found that of 194 reported deaths of female sex workers, nearly a quarter, 43, were maternal deaths, meaning women who died either during pregnancy, during childbirth or within six weeks of a termination or childbirth.

Willis said his team chose to focus on 32 of those 43 deaths because they occurred after the 2010 Cambodian Demographic Health Survey; his interviews took place in 2013, before the 2014 demographic survey was released.

A total of 13 women out of the 32 sex workers died from an abortion, while five (16 percent) died of complications related to HIV.

The report hinted that the high proportion of abortion-related deaths could indicate sex workers face barriers to reproductive health, safe abortions and post-abortion care….

Read the entire article in the Phnom Penh Post here>>