19 Jun 2012

Abortion numbers falling

1:10 pm on 19 June 2012

The number of abortions performed in New Zealand has dropped to its lowest level since 1999.

Statistics New Zealand says 15,863 abortions were performed last year, which is 767 fewer than was recorded in 2010.

The figures show the highest rate of abortion continues to be among women aged 20 - 24, accounting for approximately three out of 10 abortions in any year.

The 15 - 19 age group has recorded the biggest decrease, down 15% compared to 2010.

Of all abortions, 62% of abortions were a woman's first, while 25% of women reported having had one previous termination and 13% reported two or more.

A greater proportion of abortions are now performed earlier in pregnancy with 55% carried out in the ninth week or earlier in 2011 compared to 36% in 2006.