Contraception, Sex Education Keys to Switzerland’s Reproductive Health Access
In “40 Years of Roe” (Vol. XXXIV, No. 2), Rep. Brendan F. Boyle rightly pointed out that restrictive abortion laws do not reduce abortions. But he is wrong in saying “Germany is the country with the lowest abortion rate on the planet.” The abortion rate in Switzerland is still lower (in 2012 it was 6.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, compared to 7.2 in Germany). Switzerland has one of the most liberal abortion laws (more liberal than Germany) and there is easy access to the procedure.
The support for women and families with children certainly is an important measure which contributes to lower abortion rates, as Rep. Boyle writes in his article. But still far more important is information on sexuality and contraception (provided as part of sex education at school) and good access to all methods of contraception for all women and teenagers (including the “morning after pill,” which is available over the counter in Switzerland). Switzerland also has the lowest teenage birth rate (3.3 per 1,000 15-19-year-olds) and is a good example of why the best way to reduce the number of abortions and the cost associated with teenage pregnancies is to reduce unwanted pregnancies in the first place.