During the last decade some deteriorating trends have taken place with regard to sexual and reproductive health in the Netherlands.
Teenage pregnancies and abortion rates
At the turn of the century, a marked deterioration took place with regard to teenage pregnancies and abortion rates. Whereas the Netherlands had long been the country with the lowest rate, several other countries (Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany) have shown lower rates over the last decade.
Another illustration of deteriorating trends is that sexual healthcare facilities in the Netherlands, specifically the low-threshold, anonymous care targeting young people that was provided for example by the ‘Rutgershuizen’, were more widespread in the seventies and eighties of the 20th century than today.
It seems that at one point, sexual health was considered self-evident, a matter of course. Following the dialectics of progress, policies and investments in sexual health declined, with negative consequences, as we have witnessed of late. Presently, attempts are being made to restore the old situation and once again improve the services for young people in particular and specific groups at risk.