NRL News

Number of New Zealand abortions continue to drop

by | May 19, 2015

But trend could reverse if pro-abortion political party has its way

By Dave Andrusko

prolifenewzealandWhen I ran across a post today that induced abortions have dropped about 24% in New Zealand since 2003, I knew (since I know next to nothing about New Zealand) I would have to find a pro-life source to analyze the data and put it in perspective.

The latest annual report (covering the year 2013) provided by the Abortion Supervisory Committee found that there were 14,073 induced abortions in 2013 as compared to 18,511 induced abortions in 2003. The abortion ratio (abortions per 1,000 known pregnancies) was down as was the abortion rate (number of abortions per 1, 000 of the women aged 15 to 44).

How about teenagers? For the 15 to 19 age group, the number had fallen from a high of 4,173 in 2007 to 2,096 in 2013 — a 50% decline.

While Prolife NZ [New Zealand] welcomed the reduction, spokesperson Ms. Mary-Anne Evers said in a press release, “The decline of 672 abortions from last year in New Zealand is hugely positive, though the statistics still represent 14,073 abortions too many.”

Evers also noted

· The general rate was 15.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, down from 16.1 per 1000 in 2012.This rate is the lowest since 1994, when it was 15.3 per 1,000.

· “Although abortion is available, the number of abortions per 1000 live births, stillbirths, and abortions, continues to decrease (193 in 2013 to 192 in 2012), showing that more New Zealand women are choosing to continue their pregnancies.”

· “This continues an overall decline in this number over the last ten years. …We know most New Zealanders will agree that this is a positive step.”

However ProLife NZ noted that this downward trend could easily be endangered. “Recent proposals by the Greens [a political party] to introduce effectively abortion-on-demand would be a backward step along these lines,” Evers noted.

That policy would also radically expand the reasons for which abortion is permissible under New Zealand law, such as abortion up-to-birth on the basis of ‘severe fetal abnormality’.

“As it stands, the term ‘severe fetal abnormality’ is widely interpreted in law and practice to include disabilities such as Down syndrome and Spina Bifida,” Evers says. “So the policy clearly provides for disability selective abortions up-to-birth and provides a lower level of legal protection before birth based on disability – which is against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”