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Number of abortions still way too high

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, 17th June 2008

Number of abortions still way too high

Independent MP Gordon Copeland, whilst noting that the ratio of abortions to live births improved in 2007, continues to lament the number of abortions performed each year in New Zealand.

“Since I have been in Parliament, I have been carefully monitoring the abortion trend in New Zealand by measuring the number of abortions per 1,000 live births, year by year,” said Mr Copeland.

“In 2007 the number of births increased dramatically to a total of 64,040 and the number of abortions was 18,380. This equals 287 abortions per 1,000 live births and is a welcome improvement on the average, over the period 2003-2006, where the number was 312 abortions per 1,000 live births.”

“Whilst I welcome that slight improvement, the reality is that New Zealand’s abortion rate is still amongst the highest in the developed world.”

“In the United States, for example, there are 246 abortions per 1,000 live births so, even at the improved figure of 287, there is still 41 more abortions per 1,000 live births in New Zealand than in the USA.”

“Also the fact remains that women in New Zealand are two and a half times more likely to get an abortion than in Germany or Holland. Our rate is also a great deal higher than Scotland, Denmark, Norway, England or Wales.”

“I see no reason why, with a better legal framework, New Zealand could not achieve outcomes which are much more in line with those other nations. I’m hoping that the High Court will proceed to issue specific guidelines to the Abortion Supervisory Committee. That would be a significant step in the right direction.”

“However, at the end of the day, Parliament needs to legislate with the twin goals of both supporting pregnant women and reducing the number of abortions.”

*Attachment: Figures 2003-2007 inclusive


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