by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2005
Prague, Czech Republic (LifeNews.com) — According to official government records, the number of abortions in the Czech Republic has fallen to their lowest levels since abortion was legalized in 1958. Some 27,574 abortions were performed in 2004, which is a level five times lower than their peak in the 1980s.
The figures are a marked contrast to the late 1980s when the number of abortions nearly equaled the number of births.
At that time, there were approximately 125,000 abortions annually, but by the mid 1990s, the number dropped in half to approximately 58,000. The number of abortions have decreased each year since 1988.
Advocates of family planning credit the promotion of contraception as the main factor in reducing the number of abortions.
"This is a great success," Dr. Jaroslav Zverina, member of the European Parliament and head of the Sexology Institute at Charles University, told the Prague Post newspaper. "It shows our women have gained the freedom to plan their families."
Radim Uzel, executive director of the Czech Family Planning Association, sees contraception as the reason and told the newspaper that prior to the prevalence of it, Czech women used abortion as a method of birth control.
According to Czech government figures, some 40 percent of women in the Eastern European nation now take the birth control pill whereas less than 10 percent used it in the 1980s.
Eva Ložeková, a 29-year-old dentist who lives in Prague, told the Post that 90 percent of her friends take the birth control pill. She said her grandmother would have used it had it been available. Instead, she had two abortions.
Rev. Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International took a trip to the Czech Republic in July 2003 and describes the pro-abortion attitude that prevails there.
"[O]nly 3 percent of the people in the Czech Republic practice their [Christian] faith, but others told me that the statistic is as low as 2 percent," he said. "As if to confirm the power of the culture of death, only two hospitals in the entire country that do not perform abortions."
Abortion is legal in the country until the 12th week of pregnancy and for any reason. In the case of risk to the life or health of the mother, abortion is legal until birth.
Euteneuer says so many abortions has dropped the birth rate to below replacement level and cause a myriad of problems.
"[T]he fertility rate is perfectly abysmal at 1.13 children per woman, typical of the whole situation in Europe," he said.
Most of the eastern European nations have had alarmingly high abortion rates and numbers of abortions. In Russia, abortions are on the decline but still higher than birth rates as women continue to use abortion as their method of birth control.