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'Sweden needs an abortion register'

TT/Caroline Bursell · 15 Jun 2009, 15:56

Published: 15 Jun 2009 15:56 GMT+02:00

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The author of the government report, Anders Milton, writes in an article in Dagens Nyheter, that “for whatever reasons, we in Sweden have more abortions than other countries in western Europe”.

Milton notes that a woman's medical journal reveals whether or not she has undergone an an abortion. He proposes compiling abortion data from journals in a central register that can only be accessed for research purposes.

"In Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as other countries, it is known that abortion figures for women born outside Western Europe are twice as high or many times as high as those for Danish or Dutch-born women," he writes.

The lack of a cohesive register in Sweden means it is impossible to say whether "abortions are more common in certain socioeconomic or cultural groups."

"We simply don't know if we are reaching everybody with public information campaigns or whether we need more targeted campaigns," writes Milton.

He also discusses a variety of reasons behind abortions in Sweden such as partner incompatibility, inconvenient timing and, in some cases, sexual violence.

Along with free contraceptives he proposes that “education in sex and relationships in the broadest sense should be written into the curriculum in a clearer way, and the teaching of these subjects should recur throughout the school year.”

But Lena Marions, senior physician at Karolinska University Hospital, is critical of the proposal for schools to distribute free condoms and contraceptive pills to all students over the age of fifteen.

“It should be each individual’s, especially young people’s, own responsibility to be safe when having sexual relations, and since contraceptives are readily available in youth centres (‘ungdomsmottagningar’) further distribution of them to students will be insignificant,” she told The Local.

The government did not task the inquiry with reexamining the country’s abortion legislation; instead the report is geared toward helping to educate young people and confer them with strong values and self-esteem.

Society should strive for young people to be able to say yes when they want a sexual relationship and no if they do not, says Milton.

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“A no must always be respected regardless of when it is said,” he write, and recommends that all contraceptives be subsidized for young people and adults up to 25 years of age, with a cap of 200 kronor per year.

“We also suggest that ‘morning after’ pills, which are available without cost at youth centers, should be subsidized if purchased at a pharmacy when the buyer is up to 25 years of age.”

TT/Caroline Bursell (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:11 June 15, 2009 by Tutu
No amount of condoms or preventive medicines that can prevent unwanted pregnancy. it is difficult to remember condom at the climax of sex. so it a bluff that pregnancy rate in sweden is low, they actually compensate for it with abortions. Abstinence is still the best way forward.
18:37 June 15, 2009 by MorbidMiss
No wonder people think condoms are so ineffective if they are trying to put them on at the moment of climax!
20:19 June 15, 2009 by tsruikk
You took the words right out of my mouth MorbidMiss. I am hoping Tutu misused the word "climax" in that statement and really meant something along the lines of "in the heat of the moment".
21:34 June 15, 2009 by Greg in Canada
Tutu, I suppose you're also against sex education as well as being anti-abortion. And do you think teenagers are going to abstain just because you tell them to? Dude, start living in the real world.
10:45 June 16, 2009 by Nemesis
This is a good idea.

As for the idea of abstinence. That nonsense preached by the pope and Bush, was based purely on fantasy. One was a recovering alcoholic and the other used to be in the Hitler youth, so we have a pretty good idea how sound that idea is.

The reality is people have sex, get that into your head.
01:50 June 20, 2009 by jimmyjames
Population control is something that the UN and other global agencies need to be aggressively promoting especially in Africa, India, and Asia. The Chinese have the right idea. The ability to breed without any control is suicidal to human kind. It is not a personal freedom issue....when people breed in an uncontrolled fashion they lay the foundation for more global pollution, global warming, economic catastrophies, medical epidemics ( bird flu, swine flu, ect. ) and global war. As human population grow unchecked, world economies become more hard pressed to create jobs, provide food, ect. you are laying the ground work for global warfare. Not to mention rain forest destruction, oceanic pollution, ect.
14:46 June 20, 2009 by Tutu
Abstinence should never be enforced but actively encouraged. This is an option that is actively discouraged in Sweden. Promiscuity in Sweden is at an alarming rate and some teenagers might not frown at the idea of abstinence. From the above report it have been proved that condomn is not doing the job. Abstinence reduced incidence of HIV/AIDS in Uganda by 15%. thanks MorbidMiss for rescuing me, english is not my mother tongue
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