The reason for Austria's high abortion rate

In an interview with Der Standard, gynecologist Christian Fiala identifies the policies behind Austria's relatively high number of abortions. 

Roxane Seckauer
Roxane Seckauer Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
The reason for Austria's high abortion rate - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Salzburg gynecologist Christian Fiala believes that Austria's current abortion rate is directly connected with "cynical" health policies.

Austria is the only Western European country where the costs of contraception (and abortion) are not covered by health insurance. 

Another factor to consider is that migrant women are two and a half times more likely to become pregnant than women born in Austria. The gynecologist believes Eastern European or Middle Eastern communities can have even more difficulties accessing contraception.

Fiala also stresses that birth control pills are not suitable for every woman, but that other alternatives can be more expensive, and therefore less accessible, too.

Details from the story:

  • Contraceptives such as hormonal IUDs cost between 400 to 600 euros. 
  • Fiala estimates the abortion rate to be approximately 30,000 per year -- there are no official statistics since abortions are carried out by the private sector.
  • An abortion is between 500 and 1000 euros. The Christian tradition in Austria is responsible, among other factors, for the current situation.
  • In Austria, there are 400 family planning centers funded by the state. Some of them are Catholic and recommend "natural contraception," says Fiala.
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