After two years of exceptional decline linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, the number of voluntary terminations of pregnancies (abortions) increased in 2022, reaching its highest level since 1990, according to a Drees study published on Wednesday.
17,000 more abortions than in 2021
In total, 234,300 abortions were recorded in Europe, i.e. 17,000 more than in 2021 and around 7,000 more than in 2019, specifies this study carried out by the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics. (Drees).
The abortion rate exceeds the 2019 level – which was at the time the highest since 1990 – with 16.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49 in 2021 compared to 15.0 per 1,000 in 2020 and 15.7 per 1,000 in 2019.
The 2-week extension “is not enough to explain this increase”
The extension of two weeks (from 12 to 14) of the legal appeal period, provided for in the law of March 2022, “is not enough to explain this increase“, notes the Drees, the most late abortions representing “less than a fifth of the surplus observed compared to the year 2021“.
It is among women aged 20 to 29 that abortions remain the most frequent, with a recourse rate of 26.9 abortions per 1,000 women between 20 and 24 years old (+ 2.6 points compared to 2021) and 28.6 abortions per 1,000 between 25 and 29 years old (+2.2 points).
A more marked increase among 20-29 year olds
Between 2021 and 2022, “recourse rates increase for all adult women with a more marked increase among 20-29 year olds“, notes Drees.
As for territorial disparities, they remain, with a recourse rate which can “vary from single to double” depending on the region, but which is generally increasing in all metropolitan regions as well as in the overseas departments and regions (DROM), with the exception of Guadeloupe.