Women with backgrounds from Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan are among those who seek the most abortions, the Danish National Board of Health has indicated. Only women from the former Yugoslavia, many of whom come from areas with predominantly Muslim populations place higher in these statistics, Danish Radio reported.
Although abortion rates among immigrants have tended to decline over the years, second-generation immigrants tend to have twice as many abortions as ethnic Danish women in relative terms. Danish women, however, top the abortion statistics numerically.
According to Kassem Rachid, imam and the president of the Arab Assembly in the city of Aabenraa, was taken aback by the statistics, assuming that the high incidence of abortions among Muslim women may be due to the fact that some of them already have small children and do not want more at the moment. Another explanation may be problems in marriage.
"A third thing is that some Muslim women are not too devout and therefore don't believe that abortion is illegal. Righteous Muslims are not allowed to have abortions," Kassem Rachid stressed to the Kristeligt Dagblad daily, while pointing out that contraception is accepted.
Sociologist Astrid Krabbe Trolle frtom the Institute for Multicultural and Regional Studies at Copenhagen University, also expressed her bewilderment. At the same time, she pointed out a paradigm shift over the past decade. In 2006, women from China, the Philippines and Vietnam were in the lead in the number of abortions. By 2015, however, abortion rates among Asian women had fallen, while women of Middle-Eastern background remain highly placed.
"Adverse social conditions and low education are typically associated with a high number of abortions," Astrid Krabbe Trolle told Kristeligt Dagblad.
She pointed out that immigrants from the Middle East tend to be worse off socially and financially and generally have a much higher unemployment rate than Asian groups.
In 2015, over 15,500 abortions were performed in the whole of Denmark, according to the Health Data Agency, down from about 17,600 in 1995.
A total of about five percent or about 280,000 of Denmark's entire population of 5.6 million are estimated to be Muslims. The most common countries of origin are Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.