by Steven Ertelt
March 31, 2006
Prague, Czech Republic (LifeNews.com) — The number of abortions in the Czech Republic is on the decline and dropped by four percent last year compared with 2005 numbers. There were 26,450 abortions in 2005 and 20 percent of them were performed for so-called "health reasons" according to the European nation’s government.
The number of abortions is at its lowest level since abortion was legalized in 1958 and the figure is five times lower than their peak during the 1980s. Some 27,574 abortions were performed in 2004.
The Health Information and Statistics Institute reported that women who already have children were more likely to get an abortion. Some 35 percent of those obtaining abortions already have two children, for example.
That trend is consistent with abortion figures from other eastern European nations, which have a culture where abortion is widely regarded as a method of birth control.
Women who have not previously had children constituted 27 percent of women having abortions.
In the 1980s, the number of abortions roughly 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.
Media reports from the Czech Republic cited the increased use of contraception as a large reason for the decline, but pro-life groups say their educational efforts have played a part as well.
Last Saturday, according to the CTK Czech News Agency, 200 members of the pro-life group Movement for Life, held a public rally in Prague, the nation’s capital.
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 Lonekovb, a 29-year-old dentist who lives in Prague, told the Post newspaper 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 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.