Cornelia Helfferich

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    Immigrant women and contraception: Meeting the challenges

    Cornelia Helfferich (Germany)

    Evangelische Fachhochschule Freiburg, Bugginger Strasse 38, 79114 Freiburg i. Br., Germany

    Migration to Germany is often a linked to the family history of migrant women: as marriage migration of young women or migration together with husband, children (and parents). Thus migration implies different realities and different needs for family planning.

    In a study on behalf of the Federal Centre for Health Education, 300 immigrant women (20 to 44 years) from Turkey and Eastern European Countries were included. The results show that patterns of use of contraception are similar to those in the country of origin, but there is the problem of access to information and methods in Germany. Both immigrant groups have a high rate of abortion. Turkish immigrant women tend to limit family size by abortion, but a substantial proportion of abortions are carried out after marriage (which is linked to migration) to postpone the birth of the first child. For women from Easteuropean countries, especially for late repatriates, migration is linked to postponing birth (of the first child or further children) in the period after migration, mostly due to involvement in further education, by using contraception or abortion.