Fewer abortions in Germany


Federal Office of Statistics

Fewer and fewer women are choosing to have an abortion. In ten years the number has decreased by ten percent. Advice centers believe that this is also due to better education.

The number of abortions in Germany has fallen – possibly thanks to better education.

Photo: Jens Büttner / zb / dpa

In the past ten years, the number of abortions in Germany has fallen by more than ten percent.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 100,000 abortions were reported in 2020. In 2010 there were 110,400 abortions. Compared to 2019, the number fell by almost one percent in 2020.

Abortions among young women fell above average in the past decade, as the Wiesbaden statisticians reported. Abortions among 15 to 17 year olds fell by 66 percent and among 18 to 19 year olds by 67 percent. The decline in women between the ages of 20 and 24 was 42 percent.

In part, this development was due to the fact that the number of women in this age group generally fell, it was said to justify. However, the demographic decline is far smaller than the decline in the number of abortions.

One reason for the decline is that young women are better informed today, suggest advice centers. “The campaigns are taking effect,” said Sabine Fähndrich, consultant for pregnancy counseling at the German Caritas Association. “The fact that there are fewer abortions is also due to the fact that fewer young women become pregnant unintentionally.”

Institutions such as the Federal Center for Health Education did important work here, including correcting incorrect information on social media. Seven out of ten women who had an abortion in 2020 were between 18 and 34 years old. Around 19 percent between 35 and 39 years of age. About eight percent were 40 years or older. Only three percent were younger than 18 years.

Almost all terminations were made in 2020 according to the so-called advice regulation. Since 1995, abortion has remained unpunished in the first twelve weeks if the woman takes advice beforehand. The remaining four percent had medical reasons or the women had been victims of a sexual offense.

The reasons why women choose to have an abortion are very individual. Caritas employee Fähndrich names relationship problems or financial worries as examples, but also the inability to reconcile family and work. Young women are also worried about starting a career or finding an apprenticeship.

Most abortions (55 percent) were performed with the suction method, in 29 percent the Mifegyne agent was used. The interventions were carried out on an outpatient basis – 81 percent in gynecological practices and 16 percent in hospitals.

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