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Abortions more common despite morning-after pill

Abortions more common despite morning-after pill

Published: 15 Mar 2013 07:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Mar 2013 07:19 GMT+01:00

The morning-after pill was launched in Sweden 12 years ago with the aim of reducing unwanted pregnancies.

"Our hope was that the pill would bring down the abortion rates," Catharina Zätterström, deputy chairwoman at the Swedish Association of Midwives (Barnmorskeförbundet) told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

Despite the availability of the emergency pill, abortion rates have increased from 18.4 per 1,000 women in 1997, to 20.9 last year.

The sale of the morning after pill has meanwhile soared, with more than twice as many sold in Sweden last year than in 2001 when the product was launched.

Zätterström claimed that hopes were high at the launch of the pill.

"We really thought it would have an influence, but it hasn't worked out that way. It's very strange and saddening. There's nothing wrong with the fact that the sales have increased, but it would be much better if we could find a functioning contraception," she said.

Experts have blamed the unwanted pregnancies on Swedish contraception habits.

"It's mostly because people don't bother to use contraception," Ian Milsom, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Gothenburg University, told DN.

"Abortion statistics for teenagers look good. The problem area is the 20-24-year-old group, that's where the trend looks gloomiest."

He claimed the Sweden stood out worldwide when it came to abortion figures.

"Abortion statistics are high in Sweden compared with many other countries. In Finland, for example, we have clearly better figures when it comes to abortion," said Milsom.

TT/The Local/og

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Your comments about this article

08:29 March 15, 2013 by Achilles7
The problem is not with contraceptive methods - the problem is with Swedish society's attitude to sex.

Sex here is like tennis - it's just a game, a fun activity which people do at the drop of a hat. There are no rules, no judgements made. It's about as casual as buying a hot dog.

And hence Sweden is famous for being the most sexually promiscuous country in the world, so these statistics are hardly surprising.
13:11 March 15, 2013 by ru_kazemi
I believe such methods SHOULD be partly blamed for the higher rates of abortion, because young people can always think that if there is one chance in a million that they would get pregnant, they can always do an abortion! So the abortion alternative is actually a "security blanket" and may actually have counter-effects, as the report also indicates.

Therefore, the younger people - while they are probably drunk in many cases - think that they can relax and enjoy their sexual activity whatever way they want to. In this sense, I also agree with the previous comment that in fact it is the young people's carefree attitudes towards sex in this society that should be held accountable!
17:44 March 15, 2013 by tadchem
The "morning after pill" is just that - a *morning after* pill - not a *month or two after* pill. Many girls (especially younger ones) may not be aware they are pregnant until it is too late for the morning after pill, so they have to get abortions.

If you must place blame, blame the attitude that unprotected sex is OK if the morning after pill and abortions are available.

Neither will prevent STDs.

Irresponsible lovers become irresponsible parents.
08:44 March 16, 2013 by Franciscodeflores
'It's mostly because people don't bother to use contraception," according to Dr. Milsom. If your partner doesn't use a condom, do what those women did to Julian Assange and complain down at the police department.
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