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Women Suffer Long Delays for Pregnancy Termination

Women Suffering Long Delays for Pregnancy Termination

New Zealand women are, on average, being forced to wait nearly a month to get a termination of pregnancy, according to research conducted at The University of Auckland.

The study, which has been published in the open access journal Reproductive Health, looked at the timeliness of services provided by nine clinics across the country.

Lead researcher, Dr Martha Silva, says efforts need to be made by clinics and referring doctors to reduce the waiting times.

“Although termination is a safe procedure when carried out under hygienic conditions by a trained provider, the risk for complications increases with gestational age.

“We found more than 50 percent of women at the participating clinics terminated their pregnancies on or after the tenth week of pregnancy, on average waiting 25 days from the time they first sought care with their referring doctor.”

The clinics also gave the women an anonymous questionnaire about their experience. Thirty-eight percent of women questioned felt they had waited too long and would have wanted the procedure sooner, while 15 percent thought the wait was too long, but did not mind waiting.

Dr Silva said this was the first large-scale study of termination services in New Zealand and it highlighted the need for attention to women’s experiences while accessing these services.

“To avoid further inequities, best practices must be identified to ensure that all clinics, regardless of whether they’re public or private, can minimise the amount of time women have to wait for a procedure.”


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