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Reprod Health Matters. 2004 Nov;12(24 Suppl):174-83.

Use of contraception and abortion in Greece: a review.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology, National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece. ioanel@otenet.gr

Abstract

Greece has one of the highest rates of abortions in Europe and a very low prevalence of contraceptive use apart from withdrawal and condoms. Based on limited data from the past 30 years, this paper describes the context in which Greek women make reproductive decisions, and the history of family planning and abortion policies and services in Greece. It shows that in spite of the persistence of the traditional importance placed on marriage and motherhood, the fertility rate in Greece is very low. Sex education is still not included in the school curriculum, and the lack of accurate information on contraception and the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, especially in adolescence, still have critical repercussions for women's life choices. Although the public sector has been required to provide family planning services since 1980, only 2% of women of reproductive age were accessing these services in 1990, based mainly in urban centres. In 2001, one in four women of reproductive age had had at least one unwanted pregnancy ending in abortion; the rate was one in ten in the 16-24 age group and one in three in the 35-45 age group. With an almost complete lack of preventive policies in Greece, women continue to have to rely on abortion to control births.

PMID:
15938171
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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