Last year, 13,169 abortions were carried out in Norway. That figure is the lowest since the Abortion Registry at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) was created in 1979.
Last year’s figures were down 6% from the year before. In 1979, the year after the revised abortion law came into force, 14,224 abortions were performed. But last year there were almost 300,000 more women of childbearing age in this country.
Abortion using drugs was introduced in 1998, which since 2008 has been the most commonly used method. Nearly nine out of ten abortions, 87.5%, were carried out with drugs last year.
The abortion rate fell from 11.7 to 11 per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15-49 years) show figures from the Abortion Register.
Decline in all age groups
In the past year, the abortion rate fell to 7.6 per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19 years. In 1979, the rate was highest among women under 20 years of age.
‘One first saw the decrease in the group of under 20 year olds, and it continues upwards through the age classes as they get older.
It therefore appears that women bring with them knowledge and behavior from their younger years. This leads to fewer unwanted pregnancies even when they are older adults’, said Dr. Mette Løkeland of the Abortion Registry of Public Health.
‘Since 2008, there has been a steady decline in abortion rates among all age groups, but especially among the under 25s, observed a senior doctor at the Abortion Registry, Mette Løkeland of the Folkehelseinstituttet.
‘Studies have shown that, in particular, the use of long-acting contraception leads to a decline in unwanted pregnancies’, said Løkeland.
Fewer cases in tribunal
81% of abortions last year were carried out before the ninth week, and 96% were voluntarily chosen.
Norwegian women can decide whether they want to terminate a pregnancy during the first twelve weeks.
After this, one must apply for an abortion permission grant. The abortion committees may, in special cases, and if there are compelling medical reasons to grant one, allow an abortion until the 22nd gestation week.
There is considerable regional variation in the abortion rate in Norway. The highest rates in 2016 were found in Oslo, Finnmark and Nordland. The lowest were in Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder and Møre and Romsdal.