Abortion rates decrease

Last updated 12:23 18/06/2014

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Fewer New Zealand women are having abortions, government statistics released today show.

Figures for last year show 14,073 abortions were performed -  672 fewer than in 2012.

The abortion rate for 2013 was the lowest it had been since 1995, when 13,652 abortions were performed.

The highest number of abortions recorded in New Zealand was in 2003, when 18,511 were performed.

Women aged 20-24 years had more abortions last year than any other age group, accounting for approximately 30 per cent of those performed.

The median age of women having an abortion in 2013 was 26 years old.

The abortion rate for teenagers had decreased notably since 2007, when the age group accounted for 27 in every 1000. In 2013, the abortion rate for those aged 15 to 19 years old was just 14 per 1000.

Abortions were also being performed at an earlier stage, as the figures show just over half were performed before the 10th week of the pregnancy last year.

In 2006, just over a quarter of abortions were performed at the same stage of a pregnancy.

Nearly two-thirds of abortions performed in 2013 were a woman's first, while 24 per cent of women had had one previously, and 13 per cent reported having already had two or more abortions. 

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