Abortions rise slightly but Netherlands still one of lowest global rates

The drone waiting for take-off. Photo: Women on Waves

For the first time in years, the number of abortions has risen slightly in the Netherlands, reports NOS broadcaster on Thursday.

In 2015, reports the healthcare inspectorate, there were 30,803 abortions, a rise of 442 from the previous year.

However, the rate of abortions compared to live pregnancies is still one of the lowest in the world at 8.6 per 1000, said health minister Edith Schippers.

The number of abortions amongst teenagers fell from 2014 levels, to 3,000 in 2015. Most procedures involved women from 25 to 30 years old and in around one in 20 terminations, the foetus had been diagnosed with a condition.

The right to an abortion is considered an important one in the Netherlands, although it is controversial among some Christian parties.

At the end of January, international development minister Lilianne Pouman proposed setting up an international safe abortion fund to minimise the effects of US president Donald Trump stopping $600 million in annual funding for global abortion assistance groups.

The Netherlands has pledged €10 million for the fund and 13 other countries have signed up so far.

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