17 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch abortion rate declined in 2003 for the first time in a decade, but the reduced number of terminated pregnancies is too small to confirm a reversed trend.
The umbrella group of Dutch abortion clinics, StiSAN, said there were 33,159 abortions in the Netherlands last year, a fall of 3 percent compared with 2002.
Abortions among migrant women from Surinamese, Antillean, Aruban and Turkish ancestry increased slightly. The number of immigrant women undergoing abortions has partly led to recent increases in Dutch abortion figures.
But the national abortion figures indicated the reduced number of terminated pregnancies was particularly noticeable among teens, Dutch public news service NOS reported on Thursday.
In 2003, a total of 4,120 teenagers ended the pregnancy prematurely, compared with 4,420 in 2002. The exact cause of the decline has not been determined and clinics said further research is necessary.
A recent Cabinet decision to remove the contraceptive pill out of the claimable elements of the ziekenfonds national health insurance scheme takes effect this year. It will not be clear until 2005 if the decision has led to more abortions.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news