The Norwegian Institute of Public Health reports the number of abortions rose for the first time since 2008 and is back at the same level as before the pandemic, according to the new statistics from the Abortion Register.
From 2021 to 2022, there was an increase in both self-determined and board-processed terminations of pregnancy. In 2022, 11,967 abortions were performed against 10,875 in 2021. This is an increase of ten percent. However, it is similar to the level before the covid-19 pandemic in 2019, when the number was 11,734.
As the population has increased over the years, one must look at the abortion rate – number per 1,000 inhabitants aged 15-49 – to find the real development. In the last four years, for the first time in history, the rate has been below ten per 1,000 women, more specifically 9.8 for those who had an abortion aged 15–49 in 2022. – We are now seeing an increase in the number of abortions to the same level as we saw in 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic, says senior doctor Mette Løkeland-Stai in the Abortion Register at the Institute of Public Health.
It is too early to say whether the upswing we see in 2022 is related to the pandemic being over or whether there is a change in trend. Only until next year will we see whether the number will go down again and follow the trend we have seen since 2008 of annual decline, whether they will increase further or whether they will stabilize, she says.
Termination of pregnancy after the twelfth week must be dealt with by a tribunal. Those cases that are rejected by the primary board will automatically be forwarded to an appeals board.
In 2022, a total of 590 tribunal-processed interruptions were carried out. Of the abortions processed by the tribunal, almost all (586) were granted in the primary tribunal.
Most terminations of pregnancy processed by the tribunal were granted on the basis of risk of fetal damage, and that proportion is gradually increasing, says Løkeland-Stai.
The chief medical officer says that we still do not know whether the upswing will continue, or whether it is a temporary result of the pandemic being over. There have been a number of issues in the media recently about a decline in the use of hormonal contraception among young people, and the Association of Pharmacists has confirmed that the rate has decreased. Reduced use of hormonal contraception is often associated with increased abortion rates.
– Studies show that the use of long-acting contraception, such as the contraceptive stick and spiral, is the type of contraception that prevents unwanted pregnancies to the greatest extent, says Løkeland-Stai.
Eight out of ten abortions are carried out before the 9th week of pregnancy, and nine out of ten abortions are carried out with medication.
In 2022, these counties had the highest abortion rates, measured in number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49:
- Troms and Finnmark: 12.6
- Oslo: 11.3
- Nordland: 11.1
These counties had the lowest abortion rates:
- Rogaland: 8.1
- Westland: 8.1
- Møre and Romsdal: 8.2
‘ABORTION ACCESS JOURNALIST’ SKIRTS ANSWERING CSPAN VIEWER’S QUESTION ABOUT SURGICAL TECHNIQUES
NUMBER OF ABORTIONS INCREASE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS IN THE UNITED STATES