Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Current legislation and trends relating to termination of pregnancy across the EU explored in new study 

The scientific paper “Terminations of pregnancy in the European Union” looks at the current legislation and trends across the EU. It was prepared by the THL National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland and by BJOG (An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology).

The total number of terminations of pregnancy was calculated per 1000 women aged 15-49 years. In general, termination of pregnancy rates have declined in recent years, the study found. In total 10.3 terminations were reported per 1000 women aged 15-49 years across the EU in 2008. Looking at termination of pregnancy rates, Southern Europe had the lowest rates (8.9/1000) compared to Central and Eastern Europe (10.8/1000) and Northern Europe (10.9/1000). However, countries with unrestricted access to early termination of pregnancy (11/1000 women with a country variation from 6 to 25 per 1000 women) did not report higher rates than countries that required an indication for termination (12.3/1000 women with a country variation from 9 to 14 per 1000 women).
The study also looked separately at women aged less than 20 and over 35 years. Every ninth termination of pregnancy (14.1%) in the EU was performed among women who are aged less than 20 years. This proportion for terminations in teenagers was higher in Northern Europe (17%) than in the Central and Eastern Europe (11%) and in Southern Europe (10%).
The authors conclude that this may reflect the differences in childbearing patterns. In Northern European countries, many terminations of pregnancy represent unwanted or mistimed pregnancies among young women who wish to postpone childbearing.

The full Study is available here.(not4free)

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