The number of abortions carried out in the Netherlands rose sharply in 2022, the health care inspectorate has said in its annual report.
The number of abortions in the Netherlands had been steady since 2011, with around 30,000 terminations a year. The number slowed during the coronavirus pandemic but jumped by 15% in 2022.
In total 35,606 abortions were carried out last year, a rise of 4,557 compared with 2021.
Women aged between 30 and 35 had most terminations and the teenage abortion rate remains low at 2700. Most terminations, around 85%, took place during the first 13 weeks of gestation.
The inspectorate does not explain the rise in abortions because privacy rules prevent hospitals and abortion clinics from giving out personal information.
However, abortion clinics have previously reported they are seeing more women who ask for an abortion because they have become pregnant as a result of using “natural” ways of not conceiving, such as using an app to check when they are fertile.
“This is mainly women aged 18 to 28 but we see younger girls as well,” Raïna Brethouwer, chairwoman of the abortion clinic association NGVA told NOS in July.
“The increase seems to go hand in hand with a so-called ‘hormonophobia‘, to do with a backlash against the pill and young women wanting to have a healthier lifestyle.”
Last month the Dutch medicines authority CBG warned that young women are being confronted with inaccurate information about oral contraceptives on social media. “Influencers are having a major impact, sometimes with negative consequences and that is worrying,” chairman Ton de Boer told RTL.