Factors influencing the percentage of second trimester abortions in the Netherlands

Reprod Health Matters. 2008 May;16(31 Suppl):30-6. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(08)31377-9.


Second trimester abortion has been legal in the Netherlands since 1984. Factors influencing second trimester abortion in the Netherlands may be different from those that play a role in first trimester abortions. This is important for professionals in counselling and education. In this paper national registration data are used to complement data from a small, qualitative, exploratory file study conducted in three clinics, on the factors associated with second trimester abortions. In 2006, 6.6% of all abortions registered in the National Abortion Registry took place after 12 weeks of gestation. In the qualitative data, relationship problems with the partner were mentioned more frequently as the main reason for second trimester abortions than for first trimester abortions. Factors associated with delay in obtaining an abortion were young age, inability to recognise pregnancy, ambivalence towards the pregnancy, having to travel to the Netherlands for abortion and to a lesser extent being an immigrant from specific countries. Information should be provided for young women and women from specific immigrant groups on early awareness of pregnancy, contraception and reduction of fear about seeking abortion and sexuality education should be provided.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors