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Reproductive health Fewer women travel to Switzerland for an abortion

The overall abortion rate in Switzerland is very low compared with other countries in Europe


Last year 259 women travelled to Switzerland to have an abortion, down from 600 in 2008, the Federal Statistical Office reported on Tuesday. 

Whereas in 2008, foreign women were responsible for 6% of the total number of abortions carried out in Switzerland, by 2014 this figure had dropped to 3%. 

Since 2002, there have been around 11,000 abortions in Switzerland, although this figure has continued to decrease slightly for the past four years and remains comparatively very low within Europe. 

Not counting women who live abroad, the authorities registered 6.3 terminations per 1,000 women aged 15-44. 

There were noticeable differences within Switzerland, with foreign women who live in Switzerland having on average two to three times as many abortions as Swiss women, for whom the rate is 4.4 per 1,000. 

Among Latin American women living in Switzerland the rate was 15.2 per 1,000 and among Africans it reached 35.1 per 1,000. 

The statistical office also revealed the marital status of women who decided to have an abortion in 2014: 30% were married and 44% lived with their partner. 

Around half did not have any children, 40% already had one or two, and 9% had three or more. 

Around three-quarters of the women were having an abortion for the first time. 


Around a third gave a reason for the abortion. The vast majority of these (93%) said it was for “psychosocial” reasons, for example they didn’t have the money to keep the baby or didn’t feel they were able to raise a child. 

Further reasons included the mother having physical or mental problems and 0.6% of the terminations followed involuntary intercourse. 

In addition, the report noted that in 40% of cases the woman had not used any form of contraception. In a third of cases a condom had been used and in 15% of cases the woman had taken the pill. and agencies

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