Statistics New Zealand has today released the induced abortion figures for 2013, and the numbers are very welcome.
The recorded abortions have dropped for the sixth consecutive year to 14,073. This is the lowest since 2007 when there were 18,382 abortions reported.
We believe that the increased number of Crisis Pregnancy Centres, homes for pregnant teens and other pregnancy help services in New Zealand over the last decade has contributed to the steady decline in reported abortions.
Women need to know that there is support for them to bring their baby to birth. They see that we can support them no matter what their circumstances are and this gives them hope. All of our team at Family Life International are honoured to serve pregnant women who may other wise have had no other choice but to turn to abortion.
Significantly, younger women are leading the way in the rejection of abortion. Since 2007, when the number of teen abortions reached their highest in history, the number of 15 to 19 year olds having abortions has decreased by half!
This was the first year that the Tauranga Family Planning clinic was included in the stats, having begun offering medical abortions in early 2013. We obtained further information from Statistics New Zealand, and discovered that this clinic reported 90 abortions.
While most hospitals decreased the number of abortions, some increased. The following hospitals all had some increase in abortion numbers from 2012:
- Middlemore reported 31 abortions – an increase of 10 since 2012;
- Gisborne reported 145 abortions – an increase of 10 since 2012;
- Taranaki Base reported 316 abortions – 272 abortions were reported in 2012 – an increase of 44;
- Wairarapa reported 144 abortions – an increase of 20 from 2012;
- Christchurch Women’s reported 95 abortions – up from 71 in 2012;
- Lyndhurst reported 1592 – up from 1541 in 2012 – and the highest recorded number of abortions since 2010 when they reported 2097.
- Southland Hospital reported 293 – 2013 was the first full year this hospital preformed abortions.
Unfortunately women aged 40 to 44 are having more abortions. 637 – up from 590 in 2012. It is the highest number of abortions in this age bracket since 2010 when 655 were recorded.
We need to ask ourselves why women in their early 40’s increasingly feel unable to bring their pre-born child to birth. What is it we can do to assist them in this, their greatest hour of need?
There were 73 abortions reported from 20 weeks up to 40 weeks (down from 92 in 2012). 11 were over 25 weeks (up from 8 in 2012).
Almost 10% of all abortions were medical (sometimes referred to as RU-486 abortions). There were 1389 of these abortions, a definite and significant increase since 2012.
Nearly half (45%) of the women who had an abortion in 2013 were using some sort of ‘contraceptive’ at the time of becoming pregnant. This is a fact that proves abortion is a necessary back-up for those who have embraced a mentality that rejects the possibility of a new life.
Within all these statistics we must grapple with the fact that these numbers represent real people whose lives have been turned upside down by an unexpected pregnancy. Some of these women will be hurting, some physically, some psychologically, all spiritually. Many of these women will regret their abortion. Some will be haunted for a long, long time.
While 14,073 is a better number than last year, it is still too big. We must not forget that the number is attached to real persons, denied their intrinsic right to life. These pre-born babies have been seen only as a “choice” by those whose responsibility and duty is to nurture and protect them. They have been let down by a society which turns a blind eye to the horrors that would have us all weeping if we were to witness them in the flesh.
As a society we rightfully cry out for justice for the born babies and toddlers who are battered and killed. When will we cry out for and protect the babies before they are born?
But we will be here, working to offer options and hope to women who find themselves in that place no-one wants to be.
We will also be there for the woman who has had an abortion and regrets her decision. We do not judge. We care. We listen. We offer a path to healing.
And we will cry out for justice for the pre-born babies, who are so very precious.
That number – 14,073 – represents too many real lives that will never see the light of day, and too many lives that will live to regret their decision.
Those who promote abortion in this country have a lot to account for.
Family Life International NZ runs Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin, serving pregnant women throughout New Zealand. Pregnant women facing an unexpected pregnancy, and who wish to discuss all their options can call 0800 367 5433 (New Zealand only).
To talk to someone after abortion please phone Project Rachel 0800 111 811 (New Zealand only). Peace starts here.