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Teen birth rate decline reflects access to services and information

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

National News

Family Planning says a halving of the teenage birth rate over the last decade and a reduction in teen abortion rates over the same period, is a good news story.

“These figures tell us that young people are increasingly getting access to the services and to the information they need to make choices about their lives and their futures,” Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says.

Figures released today by Stats New Zealand shows that there were 1,719 births to teenage women (those aged under 20 years) in 2022, accounting for around 1 in every 34 births that year. In 2012, there were 3,786 births registered to teenage mothers, accounting for around 1 in every 16 births that year.

“We agree with our colleagues at Statistics New Zealand that these figures likely reflect improved access to contraception and to education, which ensure that young people feel able to make decisions about their own lives. We can’t be complacent however, and need to keep delivering services and information for young people that meet their very specific needs.

“We know that issues like cost, availability of services and worries about confidentiality, are all issues that can impact on young people being able to use services. Additionally, as we see in the media, stigma about teen sexuality and pregnancy, can stop young people connecting with agencies that can support their decisions, whatever those decisions might be.”

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.