The legal status of induced abortion in the socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe ranges from complete prohibition (in Albania) to elective terminations at the request of the pregnant woman (in the German Democratic Republic, the USSR, and Yugoslavia). The evolving trend of abortion legislation, its advances and reverses, is traced with the aid of a chronology and a summary classification of statutes prevailing in 1980. Specific legislative details are cited in the separate country chapters. The quality of reported abortion statistics is discussed, followed by a summary of annual abortion ratios and the impact of legislative changes on fertility behavior. Demographic effects of abortion liberalization restriction and pronatalist incentives are further considered in Chapter 5. The overview concludes with a commentary on characteristics of abortion seekers, health risks and psychological sequelae, repeat abortion, the abortion/contraception relationship, and emerging trends.
KeywordsUnwanted Pregnancy Abortion Rate German Democratic Republic Modern Contraceptive Legal Abortion
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