Lowest abortion rate since 1995

Stats NZ has announced:

The number of abortions performed in New Zealand decreased in 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today. A total of 14,745 induced abortions were performed in New Zealand in 2012, 1,118 fewer than in 2011.

The general rate (abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) decreased from 17.3 per 1,000 in 2011 to 16.1 in 2012. This rate is the lowest since 1995, when it was also 16.1 per 1,000. The lower rate indicates that the decrease in the number of abortions was due to fewer women having abortions, rather than to changes in the size or age structure of the population.  

This is good. Abortion should be safe, legal and rarer.

The general abortion rate peaked in 2003 at 20.8. It is now 16.1, and has been dropping every year since 2007.

The ration of abortions to live births is 193 per 1,000, down from a peak of 247 in 2003. So it isn’t so much that there are less pregnancies, it is more than there are fewer abortions.

The drop appears to be amongst women having an abortion for the first time. The raw numbers have dropped 25% since 2003. However the numbers for women who have had two or more previous abortions have increased 4% since 2003.

Some differences by age also. The number of abortions for 11 to 14 year olds has dropped 43% since 2003 (from 89 to 51) and for 15 to 19 year olds dropped by 34%. However only a 10% drop for 25 to 29 year olds. This suggests to me that sex education for younger NZers is proving more effective.

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