Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Abortion Figures Highlight Need for Fact-Based Debate



Abortion Figures Highlight Need for Fact-Based Debate on Modernising NZ Law

The continuing decline in the abortion rate announced today, together with a national discussion about decriminalising abortion, underscore the urgent need this election year for research into the real reasons women seek terminations, Dr. Morgan Healey, president of ALRANZ, said today.

“Today’s figures come amid a welcome national discussion, sparked by the Green Party’s policy to get abortion out of the Crimes Act, but the statistics highlight yet again that we actually have no hard data on why the rate is falling or on why women seek abortions in the first place,” Dr. Healey said.

ALRANZ believes solid data about abortion in New Zealand is needed to make sure any new legislation is fact-based. “It would also help end some of the scare-mongering around a law change by anti-abortion groups,” Dr. Healey said.

“Regardless of whether the numbers are up or down,” she said, “people who have abortions have to jump through a series of legal hoops because abortion is criminalised in New Zealand. We’re long overdue a change and politicians need to stop dodging the issue and take a stand, as the Green Party has done.”

Dr. Healey said the current law, which only allows abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act, adds to abortion stigma and actively suppresses a fact-based debate about the issue.

When the abortion laws were passed in 1977, they were based on a Royal Commission report that explicitly stated that no “authoritative study” on the reasons women seek abortions had been made in New Zealand. “Sadly, that’s pretty much still the case,” Dr. Healey said.

Some highlights from today’s abortion figures (for 2013 year) include:

• A continued drop in the abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women) to 15.4 (down from 16.1 the previous year), its lowest since 1994.

• A continued drop in overall abortion numbers at 14,073 (its lowest since 1995, down from 14,745 in 2012)

• A continued downward trend in abortions among the very young (11-14 year olds) and teenagers (15-19 year olds)

• Most abortions – 64 percent – were a woman’s first.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


More On Corrections

Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Chris Brown Furore

Thank goodness Dame Tariana Turia has been able to inject a bit of common sense into the Chris Brown visa issue – her argument being that forgiveness has a place in this decision, and there is an opportunity here that should be taken... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news