Two ways of birth control transition towards new reproduction pattern in eastern Europe

Jiřina Kocourková, Charles University in Prague

Investigation of the relationship between levels of contraceptive use, the incidence of induced abortion, and fertility level has been a subject of many studies. However, their findings have not been consistent as increased contraceptive use need not necessarily lead to lower but to higher abortion rates. When a fertility level in population falls rapidly, the parallel rise in abortion and contraception may occur because only increased contraceptive use by itself is unable to meet the growing need for fertility regulation. This was found out in Russia and Romania where drastic drops in fertility at the end of the 1980s and in the early 1990s were recorded and accompanied by a temporary increase in the abortion rate in both countries. On the other side it was not proved in the Czech Republic where during the steep decline of TFR towards the lowest low level of 1.1 children per a woman in the 1990s even steeper decline in TAR occurred simultaneously together with increase in contraceptive use and its effectiveness. Based on the empirical findings, interactions between all three factors are more complicated in Eastern European countries. While before 1990 the Eastern European countries were uniformly characterized to be the countries with abortion culture and low and ineffective contraception, recently two different types of use of birth control method could be found out in this region. Comparative analysis will include both the changes in the level and structure of induced abortions, and changes in contraceptive practice in selected Eastern European countries. Moreover, the aim is to identify the factors behind the recent differentiation in birth regulation in Eastern Europe.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 54: Abortion