Data on abortion decrease in Poland

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 26 May 2008

After the fall of communism Poland outlawed abortion in nearly all circumstances. As a result, annual reported abortions have fallen from about 130,000 per year in the mid 1980s to about 160 per year in 1999-2004. Poland is widely criticized by abortion proponents for its current policy. Some have also claimed that the Polish abortion law has not really impacted abortion rates. Here I argue that abortions by Polish women have significantly decreased since passage of the anti-abortion legislation.

We cannot document what we cannot observe. I would, however, argue that the annual numbers of abortions by Polish women are significantly lower as a result of the anti-abortion laws. This is based on the following:

Certainly the numbers of abortions by Polish women are significantly larger than the number legally performed in Poland (average 635 per year, 1993-2004). Figures of 5,000-15,000 per year obtained abroad are credible. I could believe a figure of 10,000 per year for illegal abortions in Poland, but I doubt that the totals are anywhere near the figures of 100,000+ reported abortions per year as in the late 1980s.

© 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 May 2008.
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