Recently Statistics New Zealand released New Zealand’s abortion statistics for 2012. The information revealed the welcome news that the number of abortions in New Zealand have declined for the fifth year in a row to 14,745.
The number of abortions performed in New Zealand at its peak was 18,511 in 2003. That number has been cut by 3766. And even though the abortion numbers have been dropping since 2007, last year’s figures were the most significant with a decline of 1118.
The information release also explained that the median age of women having abortions is 25; the group with the highest abortion rate are 20-24 year olds (29 abortions per 1000 women); the general abortion rate was 16.1 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44; 62% of abortions performed were a woman’s first; and 55% of all abortions were done before 10 weeks.
Since the release, further statistical information has been revealed, and some of it will shock:
A significant number of women are having multiple abortions
While we were told that 62% of women had not had a previous abortion, that left 38% who had. Information released only tells us part of the story – that 24.7% (3648) of women had already had one abortion in the past and that 13.1% (1937) had two or more abortions previously. New information reveals that 678 women had had 3 or more previous abortions. When broken down that number looks like this:
- 3 previous abortions: 457 women
- 4 previous abortions: 155 women
- 5 previous abortions: 38 women
- 6 previous abortions: 16 women
- 7 or more previous abortions: 12 women
92 induced abortions took place after 20 weeks
Of those 92 abortions, nine of those occurred in the 24th week and eight occurred after 25 weeks. These very late term abortions were likely to be done under the grounds of fetal abnormality (e.g. Down syndrome, Spina Bifida, heart defects or any other condition which is life-limiting or seen as a burden by medical professionals). Some of these diagnosis’ will have been incorrect as have been proved by a number of stories from people who have refused an abortion, and have discovered at birth that their baby will be fine. Read Toni’s story here.
Southland Hospital gained their abortion license
The license is to perform medical abortions up to 12 weeks and this began in September of 2012. Between September and December 2012, Southland Hospital performed 106 abortions.
Slight increase in percentage of medical abortions
There has been a real move to promote early medical abortions. In 2011, 1000 women had a medical abortion, in 2012 that number dropped to 943. The overall percentage of medical abortions has actually increased though by a very small amount – 6.3% of all abortions in 2011 and 6.4% of all abortions in 2012.
Significant number of reported complications
Reported complications totaled 90 which included 24 who had retained placenta or “products” and 29 women who hemorrhaged. It is likely that there are unreported complications. It has been revealed that between 2009 and 2011, 877 women were admitted to hospital after their abortions, which resulted in 1047 bed days. It would be safe to assume that the actual complications were far greater than those that have been reported.
Almost 1000 non-residents obtained abortions
979 women who obtained abortions were non-residents of New Zealand.
47% of women who had abortions reported using contraception
This figure tends to stay relatively stable year on year. The most “failed” contraceptive is condoms with 4140 women reported having been using them; this is followed by the combined oral contraceptive pill (1551). It is interesting to note that the Emergency Contraception figures have remained similar from 2011 (209) to 2012 (207). Also important to note is the increase in women who are presenting for abortion who have a long-acting implant (such as Jadelle). In 2011 only 12 women presented for an abortion with an implant, while in 2012 that number had almost doubled to 21 women.
While the overall figure tells us a pleasing story of declining abortions, the data behind those numbers show that abortion is used in many cases as a backup for failed contraception (or as contraception), and that it is harming women. Isn’t it time that New Zealand steps up and protects our women and vulnerable preborn children from abortion?