Number of pregnancies terminated per year in Estonia down sevenfold over past 50 yrs

  • 2019-03-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - While reducing the number of abortions in Estonia was one of the topics discussed at the coalition negotiations between the Center Party, Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa, data by Statistics Estonia indicates that the number of abortions has drastically decreased over the past five decades even without politicians' intervention, public broadcaster ERR reports.

In 1970, abortions numbered roughly 41,000 in Estonia. By 2017, the figure had dropped to fewer than 5,800. The number of abortions carried out was highest in 1972 and 1973, when the number of pregnancies terminated per 100 live births was 195. By 2017, the number had decreased to 41.8, data published by Statistics Estonia shows.

The number of abortions has been in consistent decline since 1990, when the figure stood at 29,000. In the 1990s, the number decreased by roughly a thousand or more each year, reaching slightly over 15,000 by the year 2000. The decline decelerated somewhat over the following decade and reached around 9,000 by 2010 and fewer than 6,000 by 2017.

These figures cover all abortions, including those that were carried out for medical reasons. The differentiation between abortions induced for medical reasons and those carried out for non-medical reasons was introduced in 1991; prior to that, the statistics only reflected the number of all terminations of pregnancy.

In 2017, abortions carried out due to medical reasons numbered 1,759. The figure stood at 1,773 in 2016 and at 1,740 in 2015.

As to abortions terminated at the person's own request, starting from the differentiation in statistics in 1991, such terminations numbered 26,470 in 1991 and 3,997 in 2017.