Greece has no reliable record of the number of abortions performed every year, but the actual number is believed to be far above the last official figure of 1,985 reported by the Hellenic Statistical Authority in 2015.
Stefanos Handakas, a gynecologist and founder of the HOPEgenesis NGO, puts the real figure at around 150,000, above that estimated by Athens Medical School professor Nikolaos Salakos of under 100,000. “They are not all recorded as they should be,” Salakos admits.
The issue, experts agree, remains taboo, despite laws allowing termination up to 12th week of pregnancy and the 19th week if it is the result of rape or incest.
Panagiotis Christopoulos, an assistant professor at Athens University, says the main driver behind unwanted pregnancies is a lack of sex education at schools.
“Parent associations are the biggest opponents… because they believe it puts sex on pupils’ minds.”