In 2022, a total of 3,466 pregnancies were terminated in Estonia, the vast majority of which (3,282) were performed at the woman's own request. 184 were terminated by medical health professionals' decisions, and on medical grounds, the National Institute for Health Development (TAI) says.
Compared with 2021, 109 more pregnancies were terminated at the mother's request, in 2022.
In 2022, the 30-34 age group saw the largest number of pregnancies terminated at the woman's own request, the TAI says.
Over the past six years, the number of requested pregnancy terminations has fallen the most within the 25-29 age group. Whereas in 2015 the figure stood at 1,027, last year it was 676.
Last year, 1,569 miscarriages (the figure includes fetal resorptions), were registered, 124 fewer than in 2021.
The abortion rate (in terms of the number of pregnancies terminated either at the woman's own request or due to medical indications) per 1,000 women of childbearing age stood at 12.0 in 2022, compared with 11.9 per 1,000 in 2021, and 37.2 per 1,000 back in the year 2000.
Childbearing age is defined by the TAI as 15-49 years of age.
The ratio of pregnancies terminated to 100 live births stood at 29.9 in 2022, compared with 25.5 in 2021 (and 97.9 in 2000 – in other words there were nearly as many abortions conducted in that year as there were live births).
In 2022, over half (56.6 percent) of abortions were repeat processes as regards the mother, and the remaining 43.4 percent were first-time abortions.
Twenty-eight percent of women who had abortions in 2022 had never given birth up to that point in time.
Across all terminations of pregnancy, all causes – including miscarriages – terminations at the birth mother's request made up 65.2 percent of the total, the TAI says. Back in 1996, the corresponding figure was 83.7 percent.
Editor: Andrew Whyte