Switzerland shows low abortion rates

The Swiss abortion rate – 6.9 terminations per 1,000 women of childbearing age - is one of the lowest in Europe, according to statistics released on Thursday.

This content was published on June 18, 2009 - 10:28

The Federal Statistics Office said that the 2008 rate had remained stable compared with previous years.

There were 10,848 abortions recorded among women aged 15-44, the office said in a statement. The overall rate was largely the same as in 2007.

The number of abortions carried out is lower than in Switzerland's neighbours. In France, the rate was 17.2 terminations per 1,000 women, while Italy recorded 10.6 and Germany 7.1.

Among young women, aged 15-19, the rate was also low, the statistics found. It was around five terminations per 1,000, compared with 16.6 for France, 7.3 in Italy and 3.6 in Germany for women aged 15-18 years old.

In all 94 per cent of the interventions were for women living in Switzerland and 87 per cent of the cases were carried out in the canton of residence. Geneva, a border canton, had the highest rate of abortions, with cantons in central and eastern Switzerland showing the lowest number of cases.

In Switzerland abortion was legalised in 2002 for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, bringing it into line with most other European countries.

Before that the law had been one of the most restrictive on the continent.

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