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More Abortions in 2000

Abortions: year ended December 2000

More Abortions in 2000

There were 16,103 abortions performed in New Zealand during the 2000 December year, 602 or 3.9 per cent more than in 1999, Government Statistician Brian Pink said today when releasing the latest abortion statistics.

The abortion rate (number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years) rose from 18.2 in 1999 to a high of 19.0 in 2000. New Zealand's abortion rate is higher than for the Netherlands, Germany and Finland - all with rates below 11 per 1,000, but is lower than that of Australia and the United States - both above an estimated 22 per 1,000.

Repeat abortions are increasing. In 2000, 33.5 per cent of all abortions were to women who had one or more previous abortions. This compares with 28.2 per cent in 1995 and 21.1 per cent in 1990.

The age group 20-24 years remains the most common age for abortions, accounting for approximately three out of 10 abortions in any year. Women in this age group had the highest abortion rate of 36.0 abortions per 1,000 in the 2000 year, followed by those aged 25-29 years (24.9 per 1,000) and women aged 15-19 years (23.5 per 1,000). Between 1999 and 2000, the abortion rate for teenagers increased by 8 per cent, while that for women aged 20-39 years increased by about 4 per cent. The average age of New Zealand women having an abortion has risen by 0.6 years since 1990 to 26.6 years in 2000.

New Zealand European/Pakeha women had the lowest abortion ratio (210 abortions per 1,000 known pregnancies) and Asian women the highest (311 per 1,000). The Asian women's ratio is about 41 per cent above the national average (220 per 1,000). Mäori women and Pacific women recorded abortion ratios of 257 and 253 per 1,000 respectively.


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