Greece’s major financial crisis has influenced another massive tragedy in the small Mediterranean nation – skyrocketing abortion rates.
Abortions in Greece have risen by 50 percent during the financial crisis, according to information presented at the Panhellenic Conference of Family Planning this October in Athens, the news outlet Ekathimerini reports.
Births, meanwhile, dropped by 30 percent, and miscarriages doubled, according to the report.
The abortion rate in Greece is currently 140 per 1,000 pregnancies, or twice what it was 10 years ago. The total number of abortions per year rose from 200,000 to 300,000 in the past decade, according to the report. The country has a population of about 11 million, the report states.
Surprisingly, however, the number of teenage abortions is down in Greece. University of Athens professor Efthimios Deligeoroglou attributed the drop to a campaign teaching teens about STDs.
Financial stress appears to be a key factor in the rising abortion rate. Many of the women seeking abortions already have children, and the medical costs for prenatal care and delivery are expensive, the report notes.
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“A prenatal care package for an uninsured woman at a public hospital costs just under 500 euros, while a caesarian section costs 1,000 euros. The cost is higher for migrant women, who may pay as much as 1,500 euros for a C-section,” says Constantinos Papadopoulos, an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN). “And if you add the cost of raising a child, then you understand why women take such decisions.”
The researchers also attributed the higher miscarriage rate to the financial crisis, saying pregnant women are not receiving the same level of medical care that they once were. Some of the miscarriages actually may be abortions. Women use medication to induce abortion without medical supervision, according to the report.
As Greece aborts its children at an astronomical rate, the country also faces a declining population crisis.
World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs previously explained how Greece is one of the European countries that is hurting most from low fertility.
“In developed nations, a fertility rate of 2.1 is needed just to replace current population,” he said. “The fertility rate is the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime. In the European Union as a whole, it’s 1.5 — well below replacement. In Spain, it’s slightly lower — 1.47. Greece has a TFR of 1.3.”
The effects can be seen in Greece, where fewer and fewer workers are forced to pay for a growing number of pensioners and other government expenditures. After the nation’s 2012 election, political parties there were unable to form a government, bringing on the country’s continued crisis. Demographics lie at the heart of such turmoil, Jacobs contends.