One Abortion Every 11 Seconds in Original 15 EU States

ROME, March 17, 2010 ( – Abortion rates in Europe are on the rise, with one child being killed at least every 11 seconds in the original 15 EU states, according to the annual report of the Institute of Family Policies (IPF).

The so-called EU15 countries are those that comprised the European Union prior to the accession of ten candidate countries on 1 May 2004. They are Belgium, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Denmark, Austria, Portugal and Sweden.

According to publicly available statistics, Spain’s abrupt increase in abortion accounts for 87 per cent of the total increase over the last ten years. The report notes that recent changes in Spanish abortion laws have caused the rates there to soar. In the last ten years, the number of abortions in Spain has increased 115 per cent. This means that, as of 2008, nearly one in five pregnancies ends with abortion in the country.

“In as little as 18 years (1980-2008) the number of abortions has grown from representing scarcely 8.47% of the pregnancies in 1990, to representing more than 18.24% in 2008.”

Data from national sources and the European statistical service EUROSAT show that in 2008 about 2.9 million abortions were committed in all of Europe, including the 27 member states of the European Union and 14 non-EU countries. 1,207,646 of these abortions were carried out in the EU states, which represents 42 per cent of the European total.

In the EU15, the rate of abortion is sharply increased over that of the EU overall and has risen 8.3 per cent over ten years. But the IPF notes that the increase in Spain has drastically skewed these numbers. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of abortions overall increased in those countries by 70,941 abortions per year, but Spain accounts for 61,965 of that increase.

This abrupt increase in the rate of abortion in Spain and the other EU15 countries contrasts with the rate in the 27 EU countries overall, where abortion has actually decreased as much as 49 per cent.

Three out of four abortions in the European Union are carried out in the EU15 countries, or about 77 per cent, with a total of nearly one million unborn children killed per year for the last decade. This contrasts with the fewer than 300,000 abortions committed in the rest of the European Union states per year over the same period.

IPF reports that in the last 15 years, approximately 20 million children have been “lost” to abortion in the European Union. The United Kingdom, France, Romania, Italy and
Spain are the countries of the EU with the highest number of abortions, accounting for 775,000 abortions of the 2008 total.

“Each year in Europe abortion eliminates the equivalent of the populations of Estonia, (1.3 million people), Cyprus (0.8 million people), Luxembourg (0.5 million people) and Malta (0.4 million people),” the report said.

Demographers are noting with increasing alarm the low birth rates in most European countries, with few approaching the level needed to maintain a steady population. The IPF report says, “The number of abortions in the 27 member states of the EU in one year (1,207,646) is equivalent to the deficit in the birth rate in Europe.”

The abortion rate accounts for 18.3 per cent of all pregnancies in the EU, and one in seven abortions are carried out on girls under age 20. The UK topped the list for abortions on teens.

The report also notes the aging of the European population and its relation to the abortion rates. While immigration continues to prop up the population overall, the number of people under age 14 continues to shrink. In the EU overall, the population of under 14s dropped from 89 million in 1993 to 78.4 million in 2008, a loss of 10.5 million young people.

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