Campaigners in Bern call for a removal of abortion from the Swiss Criminal Code, July 2, 2022. © Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle
New statistics from Switzerland show the abortion rate remained stable – and comparatively low – in 2021. Longer term, the average age of those terminating pregnancies is rising.
This content was published on July 6, 2022 - 12:45 July 6, 2022 - 12:45 Keystone-SDA/dos
Número de abortos na Suíça permanece inalterado em 2021
A total of 10,869 abortions were recorded in the country in 2021, or 6.7 for every 1,000 women, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) saidExternal link on Wednesday. The rate is practically the same as for 2020, when 6.8 abortions per 1,000 women were recorded.
The rate is low by international comparison, according to the FSO.
Some 95% of abortions were carried out during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy – as foreseen under the 2002 legal change to partially decriminalise abortion. Over three-quarters of procedures were carried out during the first eight weeks.
Women over the age of 30 now make up the majority of cases, at 52%; in 2010, this figure was 45%. Correspondingly, younger women seeking abortions have been decreasing: under-25-year-olds have sunk from one-third to one-quarter of cases since 2010.
Across the country, medical rather than surgical abortion is the norm in the vast majority (80%) of situations, though regional differences exist – for example, in cantons Geneva and Fribourg, the number drops to 60%.
Two decades after voters massively accepted the legalisation of abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the issue is still a debated one, and various political initiatives are the works: oneExternal link demands the removal of abortion from the criminal code (it is still technically illegal after 12 weeks, without medical justification); others want to introduceExternal link a mandatory“day of reflection” before a procedure, or to banExternal link later-stage abortions completely.
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