The number of abortions carried out by young women between the ages of 15 and 19 years old in Iceland has been steadily decreasing over the past few years, says a new report from the Directorate of Health.
In 2017, a total of 1,044 abortions were performed in Iceland, which corresponds to an average of 13.1 of every 1000 women of childbearing age (between 15 and 49 years old), with 75% of them being performed through drug administration rather than surgery.
In addition, there has been a 0.5-2% increase in abortions amongst women between 25 and 49 in the years following the financial crisis, with more than half the procedures been carried out by women between 20 and 29 years of age in 2017.
The percentage, however, has decreased amongst the younger age groups by a striking 3% since 2010, as only 12.4 girls of 1000 between 15 and 19 years have terminated a pregnancy. By comparison, 21.2 underage girls of 1000 did so between 1996 and 2000.
The data provided by the Directorate of Health seems to reflect that of other Nordic countries. On average, 13.3 women of 1000 terminated their pregnancy in Nordic countries, with a slightly higher percentage being recorded in Sweden.
Although, women in Iceland are allowed to terminate their pregnancy only within 12 weeks from the fetus’ conception, Icelandic law makes provisions for women who are forced to terminate a pregnancy over the 12 weeks limit because of strict medical reasons. Only 3% of these abortions over the 12 weeks limit were carried out in 2017.