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19 Sep, 2013

Greece’s Birthrate Decreases as Austerity Measures Increase – Truthdig

The number of live births has fallen by a whopping 10 percent in Greece in the last four years as the country suffers the worst economic conditions in the entire European Union, and continues to exercise austerity in order to receive loans from the likes of the European Bank and the IMF.

Because of these measures, Greece’s health care budget has been slashed by nearly 40 percent, resulting in fewer people having access to medical treatment. One of the results of these cuts has been a decline in births and a rise in stillbirths. As mothers, many unemployed, fear the costs of screenings and prenatal tests, the number of stillborn babies has risen from 3.3 to 4 out of every 1,000 births in the past four years. This is largely due to the fact that pregnant women are no longer offered benefits or government assistance in any form. And perhaps more alarmingly, mothers who can’t afford to pay delivery costs often run away from hospitals with their unregistered child to avoid fees.

Read the rest: Greece’s Birthrate Decreases as Austerity Measures Increase – Truthdig.