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Abortion rate lowest in 25 years

Monday, June 19, 2017

National News

The number of abortions carried out in New Zealand decreased in 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today. A total of 12,823 induced abortions were carried out, compared with 13,155 in 2015.

The general abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) was 13.5 per 1,000 women in 2016, down from 14.2 in 2015. This is the lowest rate in over 25 years.

The abortion rates for younger women have fallen significantly in recent years.

The abortion rate for women aged 15–19 years decreased to a record low of 9 per 1,000 this year, down from 10.6 last year.

Women age 20-24 continue to have the highest abortion rate. However it has also declined significantly from a peak of 41 per 1,000 women in 2003 to 21 per 1,000 in 2016.

57 percent of abortions were carried out before the 10th week of the pregnancy, which is slightly improved from last year where 55 percent were carried out before the 10th week.

Declining abortion rates in New Zealand align with international trends where rates have declined significantly in developed countries.

Improved access to effective methods of contraception, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), is believed to play a significant role in reducing abortion rates.

Source: Statistics New Zealand

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