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Abortion rates in New Zealand have been dropping

Have New Zealand’s abortion rates been dropping? When talking about abortion rates, we normally focus on the general abortion rate – the number of legally induced abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years.

The general abortion rate has dropped significantly since 2003. In 2003, there were 21 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. By 2015, the rate had dropped to 14.

 

 

However, the 2015 general abortion rate was not the lowest recorded in New Zealand. The rate averaged 10 abortions per 1,000 women during 1980–85. It increased to 14 in 1990, and 19 in 2000.

The decrease in the general abortion rate since 2003 was largely due to decreases in the abortion rates for women aged 20–24 years and 15–19 years.

  • For 20–24-year-olds: down from 41 per 1,000 in 2003, to 23 in 2015.
  • For 15–19-year-olds: down from 27 per 1,000 in 2007, to 11 in 2015.

Conclusion

This myth is confirmed.

For your information

Abortion trends in New Zealand 1980–2007 
A report outlining the national abortion trends in New Zealand since 1980, showing how different aspects of the trends have changed over time.

Abortion statistics – information releases 
Statistics on the number of abortions performed in New Zealand; and the number of abortions by: number of previous abortions, age of woman, number of previous children, duration of pregnancy, and ethnicity; and international comparisons.

Abortion statistics – Infoshare 
Data on abortion-related statistics. Select 'Health' then 'Abortion statistics - ABN'.

Published 5 September 2016.

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