In Armenia, as in other countries in the orbit of the former Soviet Union, induced abortion is an important method of birth control. The total abortion rate is high in Armenia, estimated at 2.6 abortions per woman for the 1998-2000 period, although there is evidence of a decline over the past 15 years. The general level of contraceptive practice in the country is also high, as would be expected in a population with low fertility (a total fertility rate of 1.7). The abortion rate has remained so high because the use of modern contraception is so low; the primary method is withdrawal, which has a high failure rate. The use of modern methods has been increasing slowly; however, the decline in abortion in the recent past is more the result of postponement of marriage.