The background of the study is the very high prevalence of mortality and morbidity in Sub-Saharan countries due to abortions induced by unsafe methods. This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in 1998 and 1999 in the city of Bouaké in Côte d\'Ivoire. The study is based upon qualitative semi-structured interviews with men and women. This paper presents some case stories based on interviews with young women having had an abortion, or with men having had a young partner who has had an abortion, both married and unmarried. It discusses how illegally induced abortion may be understood in relation to ongoing social processes characterised by economic hardship and tensions between the sexes and generations. One important finding is that the young often choose abortion because they cannot count on economic and practical assistance from parents in feeding and raising the child. Parents are also often pushing their children to have an abortion.