abortion and contraception: Czech and Slovak populations
Before 1990, abortions were highly prevalent in Eastern Europe, including Czechoslovakia. After 1990, the Czech and Slovak populations experienced a significant decrease in the abortion rate. Because both states have complete statistics on abortion and identical histories of abortion legislation, trends in abortion rates between 1988 and 2008 can be compared in detail using standard and decomposition methods. Binary logistic regression with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to identify the variables associated with changes in attitudes toward abortion between 1991 and 2008. First, a convergence in abortion rates was confirmed, although a higher abortion rate among unmarried Czech women remained in 2008. In contrast, a divergence in contraceptive practices was found; Slovaks have significantly lagged behind Czechs in the use of modern contraceptives. Differentials in attitudes toward abortion significantly increased (p < .001). Additionally, although a decline in the abortion rate was achieved without legal restrictions to access to abortions, various factors were responsible for this outcome. In the Czech Republic, improvements in family planning and increasing awareness of reproductive health have played key roles in promoting responsible sexual behavior, whereas in Slovakia, the stronger influence of the Catholic Church has contributed to the prevention of abortions.