Abortion and Fertility in Ukraine: How Are the Two Interrelated?
Nataliia Levchuk, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Brienna Perelli-Harris, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
In this paper we analyze the changing relationship between abortion and childbearing in Ukraine, which has had one of the world’s highest abortion rates and lowest fertility rates. Using the 2007 Ukrainian Demographic and Health Survey, we examine changes in abortion before and after the dramatic fertility decline. We estimate event history models for first abortions as well as competing risk hazards by pregnancy outcome. Preliminary results suggest that although abortion rates rapidly declined in the 1990s, abortions have impacted fertility by lowering second birth rates. On the other hand, abortions have been used less frequently for postponing first births, as is more common in developed countries. We also describe how this relationship has been maintained through the slow adoption of modern contraception. Thus, Ukraine represents a country with an unusual relationship between fertility, abortion, and contraception, and where low fertility has been achieved with low reliance on modern methods.