Induced abortions: still important reproduction loss in the Czech Republic?

OBJECTIVES: The aim of study was to evaluate the importance of induced abortions for reproduction medicine in Czech Republic.

DESIGN: Demographic analysis of data published by EUROSTAT and Czech statistical office.

SETTING: Department of Demography and Geodemography Faculty of Science, Charles University Prague.

RESULTS: Widespread use of the liberal abortion law in socialist countries contributed to the decline of fertility rates only to the replacement level. In the Czech Republic total fertility rate dropped below 1.3 in 1995 and it did not increase above 1.5 children per woman till 2007. The increased use of modern contraceptive methods that results in a sharp decline in fertility and in a significant decrease of induced abortions can be documented. The total abortion rate fell from 1.54 abortions per a woman in 1990 to 0.34 in 2007. The proportion of women aged 15-49 years who were prescribed oral contraception increased from 4 percent in 1990 to 48 percent in 2007. An induced abortion is still used largely as a way to avoid birth of additional children by women who already have the number of children they want. This is in sharp contrast with the situation in the majority of Western European countries in which abortion is used mainly by teen-age girls whose attempts to avoid pregnancy have failed.

CONCLUSION: In contrast to other demographic characteristics which classify the Czech Republic to Eastern Europe, the level of induced abortion rate is comparable with the levels observed in some Western European countries.

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