Iceland Teen Pregnancies Highest in Nordic Countries Skip to content

Iceland Teen Pregnancies Highest in Nordic Countries

The rate of teenage pregnancies is higher in Iceland than in the other Nordic countries despite having decreased greatly over the years.

baby_psPhoto: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

A similar trend has been observed in the other Nordic countries with pregnancies of girls under 18 having plummeted since 1982.

A recent UNICEF report showed that Iceland had among the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Western Europe.

Obstetrician Ragnheiður Ingibjörg Bjarnadóttir told that one of the reasons for the decrease is that women are choosing to study longer and delay childbirth and that teenage pregnancy is not a big social problem in Iceland.

“However, I think it can be very difficult for girls who have children while they are still a child,” she said.

Social worker at the women’s division of the Landspítali National University Hospital Helga Sól Ólafsdóttir points out that while the emergency pill is obtainable without a prescription in Iceland, it is expensive and that contraceptives are free of charge in the other Nordic countries.

“Contraceptives are expensive in Iceland and perhaps we could reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies by improving access to them,” she suggested.


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