NZ abortion statistics 2018

Another year of legal abortion in New Zealand has seen similar numbers of pre-born infants aborted through surgical and medical means. 

When reading the following information, please remember that each of these numbers represents a human being – a tiny child killed.  The numbers also represent mothers, fathers, families all impacted in various ways by the tragedy of abortion.

Summary of reported abortion statistics

According to Statistics New Zealand, for the year ended December 2018, there were 13,282 reported induced abortions.  Broken down, that is the equivalent of 255 every week or 36 every single day of the year.

There were just three fewer abortions than in 2017 when 13,285 were reported.  The numbers have remained relatively stable since 2014 after reaching a peak of 18,511 in 2003.

One in five of all known pregnancies (live births, stillbirths, and abortions), ended in abortion.  Of these 98% (12,996) were approved because of “danger to mental health”.

More abortions than ever before (60%) are occurring in the 9th week of pregnancy or earlier.  This may be a result of efforts to have women contact their doctor or a midwife as soon as they think they may be pregnant. 

Earlier detection of pregnancy allows for medical abortion to be offered as an option to women.  Proponents of abortion are interested in promoting early abortions as it appears to be more “natural” and are known to compare it to, or even refer to it as, miscarriage.  Eventually, the plan is to have midwives, nurse practitioners and doctors prescribing the necessary pills at the local medical centre or midwifery practice as standard health care.

The number of medical abortions throughout pregnancy is increasing, while surgical abortions are decreasing.

In 2018 there were 20 fewer late-term abortions (20 weeks plus), with a total of 76.  Of these, 13 occurred in the 24th week or later.  Generally, 24 weeks is deemed to be when a baby could survive outside the womb with medical assistance.

While the majority of women presenting for an abortion had never undergone a medical or surgical abortion previously (64%), still a significant number had already at least one abortion.

In additional tables obtained by Family Life International from Statistics NZ, it was found that 633 women had previously had three or more abortions, an increase from 2017.  Of those women, 12 had undergone seven or more abortions.

More women over the age of 30 are obtaining an abortion (38%).  This number has increased greatly over the last ten years, whereas in 2008 only 26.7% of women who obtained an abortion were over the age of 30.

Of those who obtained an abortion, more than half (58%) had at least one born child at the time.  This relates to the increasing age of women obtaining the lethal procedure.

Since 2008 teen abortions have decreased by two thirds and now account for less than 10% of all reported abortions.

Women in their 20s are still more likely to have an abortion than any other age group and account for more than half (52%).

Public hospitals perform the most abortions

Most abortion providers are public hospitals.  Epsom Day in Greenlane, Auckland performs the most abortions in the country.  In 2018 there were 3,987 in that facility. 

Christchurch Hospital is the next largest abortion centre with a total 1,621 abortions carried out under two licenses (Lyndhurst and Christchurch Women’s).

Wellington Hospital also is one of the largest abortion facilities in New Zealand with 1496 abortions reported in 2018.

Rotorua Hospital began providing abortions up until the 14th week of pregnancy in February 2018.  In just eleven months there were 477 medical and surgical abortions at the hospital.

It is important to note with the increase of medical abortions sexual health and women’s clinics (Taranaki and Palmerston North) and Family Planning (Tauranga) are increasing their numbers.

No woman need ever feel alone… there is hope

With abortion law reform being seriously considered, Family Life International urges the New Zealand government to objectively look at what abortion is, the real violence of abortion procedures and the harm it inflicts upon women, men, and families.

More than half a million of New Zealand ‘s children have never known what it is like to be held in their mother’s arms.  Their lives were brutally ended instead of being given the opportunity to live and be loved.

Often women choose abortion because they feel alone and that they have no other choice.  Many live to regret their decision.

FLI implores the government and medical personnel to recognise independent pregnancy centres such as Gianna’s Choice Pregnancy Options and Support.  These organisations, provide practical help, support and life-affirming solutions to women who are facing a time of great trial.  Women who come to these Centres know they are not alone and that there are other options if they so choose. 

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