By James Tillman 

France, October 8, 2009 ( – According to a new study by the French National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), although the number of unplanned pregnancies in France has fallen, the number of abortions in such cases has increased, reports the Monde Actu 24h/24. 

Unplanned pregnancies fell from 46% to 33% from 1975 to 2004, ostensibly due to use of contraceptives, according to the study, but the number of abortions of such pregnancies increased from 40% to 60% over the same period. 

Over 40% of French women have an abortion at least once in their life. 

The study says that women using contraception have a greater desire to control their fertility and thus are more likely to abort a child who is not consistent with their plans. 

The study also examined other statistics regarding abortion. 

From August 1973 to January 1976, during which period abortion was legalized, French fertility rates fell from 2.36 to 1.8 children per woman, a loss of 24%. France's average fertility rate is currently approximately 2.02, which many attribute to the French government's attempts to encourage childbirth through various incentives. 

Unsurprisingly, the study found that the desire to have a child has also decreased. According to Chantal Blayot, a professor of demography at Montesquieu-Bordeau IV, this trend is supported by “a strong social pressure to abort.” The social context is not conducive to large families said Blayot: “At first birth, we congratulate the parents; on the third, they are asked if they have considered well what they are doing.”