Significantly fewer abortions in 2012

Number of abortions drops by 5.5 percent

The number of abortions in Germany declined in the third quarter of 2012 by 5.5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. According to a report by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), "around 25,500 abortions were reported in Germany in the third quarter of 2012", around 1,500 fewer than in the third quarter of 2011.

The majority (74 percent) of women who had an abortion in the third quarter of 2012 were between the ages of 18 and 34, Destatis reports. 15 percent of women were between 35 and 39 years old and eight percent were 40 years or older. Abortions in under 18 year olds accounted for less than four percent. Almost all abortions (97 percent) were carried out "according to the counseling scheme", according to the Federal Statistical Office. In three percent of the cases, medical and criminological indications were the reason for the termination of the pregnancy.

Continuous decline in abortions
With the exception of 2004, there has been a steady decline in the number of abortions in the past ten years. The number has dropped from 130,387 abortions in 2002 to 108,867 in 2011, according to the Federal Statistical Office. While the number of pregnancies also decreased in parallel, there is some evidence that more women are choosing to keep their child during pregnancy. The proportion of unwanted pregnancies may also have decreased in recent years, but this cannot be seen from the data from the Federal Statistical Office. Of the women who underwent an abortion, 40 percent had not yet had a live birth before the procedure.

In most cases (69 percent), the abortion was carried out using the suction method (vacuum aspiration); in 16 percent, Mifegyne® was used, according to the latest Destatis message. The intervention was usually carried out on an outpatient basis, with 80 percent of pregnant women having it carried out in a gynecological practice, the Federal Statistical Office reports further. 18 percent of abortions occurred in the hospital on an outpatient basis. According to Destatis, seven percent of the pregnant women went to a state in which they did not live for the intervention. The Federal Statistical Office provides further data on abortions with the current abortion statistics (here) in the GENESIS-Online database. (fp)

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