☷ ABORTION LEGISLATION
In most European countries, the law allows abortion on request or provides such broad grounds on which abortion is permitted that it has been interpreted as allowing abortion on request. Nevertheless, access to abortion remains restricted in some countries, especially in Ireland where abortion is only allowed to save a woman’s life.
☷ PRACTICAL CONDITIONS
Medical abortion was introduced in Europe in 1988. Since then, it has been increasingly used. Today, women in most European countries have access to medical abortion. However, in some countries, there is a time limit for use. The gestational age limit, which is calculated from the last menstrual period (LMP), widely varies according to the country.
☷ ABORTION STATISTICS
Abortion rate is the number of reported legal abortions per 1,000 women between 15 and 49 years of age (44 years in some countries). Abortion rate per 1,000 women aged 15-49 widely varies across Europe.
☷ CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN HAVING INDUCED ABORTION
Women who had abortion were more commonly aged 30 years and over in some countries, in particular in Italy and in countries under the former Soviet Union domination (e.g., Baltic states, Poland).
☷ FERTILITY AND CONTRACEPTION DATA
The fertility rate is the ratio of the number of children born during the considered year and the number of women aged 15-49 years (i.e., in age of childbearing). The average fertility rate in Europe is close to 1.6. The lowest fertility rates are observed in Southern European countries (Portugal, Italy…) and Eastern Europe (Poland…). France has the highest fertility rate.
☷ OTHER INFORMATION
In several European countries, women have to pay for abortion.
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