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You're reading: In Kirovohrad, soul-searching about why so many abort
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Many of them are deciding whether to keep their babies. Two out of 100 will choose to abort. This central Ukrainian city has the highest abortion rate in Ukraine, where the average number of abortions is 13.9 per 1,000 pregnancies, according to the Health Ministry – or six times the rate in Western Europe.

Olena Makaruk, head of the family planning department of the center, is sitting in her modest, Soviet-style office in the hospital, where she has just finished trying to persuade an unmarried 22-year-old woman not to have an abortion. “So many tears,” she says. “Three doctors barely managed to persuade her to keep the child.”

Basically, they scared the young woman by telling her that aborting her first pregnancy can cause severe health consequences.

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