Despite the fact that the financial crisis has led to a significant reduction in abortions within the country’s borders, Greece still remains in the first ranks among European countries, with 80,000 abortions per year (the same amount as births). However, the fact that 50% of abortions in Greece are performed on underage girls, is worrying.
The statistic data, released after a British study conducted by the Obstetric-Gynecological Clinics of University of London, reflect Greece’s tragic situation in regards to young girls’ education on contraception. Only 3% of Greek women prefer to go on the pill, while in Turkey 9% and in Europe one in two women choose the same method.
In an interview with the Greek newspaper Eleftheros Typos, obstetrician-gynecologist Stefanos Chandakas University of Athens PhD and Curator of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Princess Royal University Hospital in London, noted that abortions are painful on a physical and psychological level, especially in teenage girls.
“The girls are stigmatized (physically and mentally), since many of the consequences follow them for the rest of their lives. The physical effects of abortion may be temporary such as contamination, thromboembolism, bleeding, perforation of the uterus, bowel injury, cervix the rupture and ureter injuries, while 5% of women who get abortions, are permanently infertile. Furthermore, American studies suggest that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer,” he said.
Another factor that indicates the lack of young women’s education is that 27% of young women in Greece resort to the morning after pill (emergency contraception) to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Last year, pharmacies sold around two million morning after pills. The study also showed an increase in the use of condoms (75% of Greek couples, compared to 30% in the past).