Abortions in 2012 lowest in 20 years

The number of abortions performed in New Zealand has fallen to its lowest rate in almost 20 years.

Statistics New Zealand figures, released on Wednesday, show a total of 14,745 induced abortions were performed last year, 1118 fewer than in 2011.

There were 193 abortions per 1000 known pregnancies last year, compared with 204 the previous year – the lowest abortion rate since 1995, when there were 191 abortions per 1000 known pregnancies.

Dr Morgan Healey, president of the Abortion Law Reform Association on New Zealand, (ALRANZ), says better contraception appears to be playing a role in the continued decline in abortions.

Healey said much more can be done to make the newer contraceptives more accessible and affordable.

The pro-life organisation Voice for life questions the ALRANZ assertion that better contraception is bringing about the decrease.

“Nobody really knows why the number of abortions registered every year is decreasing. We can speculate, for example, the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ) claims that the decrease may be due to more widespread use of contraceptives.”

“Voice for Life could argue that it is due to a greater awareness of what babies look like in the womb. Ultrasound pictures are now very common and pregnant women show them to their friends, work colleagues and family members. Such pictures may have some influence on choosing whether to have an abortion or continue the pregnancy.”

ProLife NZ spokesperson Mary-Anne Evers says that there are a number of factors behind this drop including a greater awareness of the development of the child in the womb, and the ongoing work of pro-life groups around New Zealand, such as ProLife NZ.

“While we are pleased with this significant drop in the number of abortions, the statistics still represent 14,475 abortions too many.” Ms Evers says.

“There is still much work to be done.”

“Our vision is for a country where no women needs to choose abortion, where every women feels supported to be able to choose life for their child.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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