In Abortion Statistics Commentary, blog, Press Releases

Could the Greens’ extreme abortion policy reverse NZ’s declining abortion rate?

Press release: For immediate release

ProLife NZ

18/6/2014

ProLife NZ is welcoming the news that the total number of abortions in New Zealand decreased in 2013, continuing the downward trend that began in 2007.

ProLife NZ spokesperson Ms Mary-Anne Evers points out that the 14,073 abortions performed in 2013, compared with 14,745 in the previous year, is the lowest number since 1995 (13,652).

The general rate was 15.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, down from 16.1 per 1000 in 2012.This rate is the lowest since 1994, when it was 15.3 per 1,000.

“The decline of 672 abortions from last year in New Zealand is hugely positive,” says Ms Evers, “though the statistics still represent 14,073 abortions too many.”

““Although abortion is available, the number of abortions per 1000 live births, stillbirths, and abortions, continues to decrease (193 in 2013 to 192 in 2012), showing that more New Zealand women are choosing to continue their pregnancies.”

“This continues an overall decline in this number over the last ten years.”

“We know most New Zealanders will agree that this is a positive step.”

Ms Evers also points out that the latest statistics reiterate the importance of accurate data collection in order to better understand what women need in this area.

“In places such as Canada, where abortion has been removed from the statutes, abortion records are left to individual states, institutions, and practitioners, making accurate statistics virtually impossible.”

“Recent proposals by the Greens to introduce effectively abortion-on-demand would be a backward step along these lines.”

The Green policy would also radically expand the reasons for which abortion is permissible under New Zealand law, such as abortion up-to-birth on the basis of ‘severe fetal abnormality’.

“As it stands, the term ‘severe fetal abnormality’ is widely interpreted in law and practice to include disabilities such as Down syndrome and Spinda Bifida”, Ms Evers says.

“So the policy clearly provides for disability selective abortions up-to-birth and provides a lower level of legal protection before birth based on disability – which is against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)”

Ms Evers points out that this may lead to more abortions, especially in this category of disability – something that many New Zealanders and disability organisations are rightfully uncomfortable with.

“Instead, we need to work hard now to sure-up informed consent and alternatives to abortion which New Zealand women are clearly seeking.”

ProLife NZ calls on all New Zealanders to reject extreme abortion legislation as proposed by the Greens and instead work together to continue building up a positive culture of life in New Zealand.

ENDS

For all media inquiries, contact ProLife NZ at contact@prolife.org.nz

 

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