In Statistics

In the year ended December 2010:

  • 16,630 abortions were performed in New Zealand, the lowest number since 2001 (16,410).
  • The general abortion rate was 18.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, down from 19.2 per 1,000 in 2009.
  • The abortion ratio was 205, down from 218 in 2009, and 247 in 2003. (The abortion ratio is the number of abortions per 1,000 known pregnancies. Known pregnancies include live births, stillbirths and induced abortions combined, but does not include miscarriages).
  • Women aged 20–24 years had the highest abortion rate (33 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 years).
  • The median age of women having an abortion was 25 years.
  • 1,353 abortions were performed late in pregnancy (performed in the second or third trimester of pregnancy) and were therefore performed in a licensed hospital.
  • 13 abortions were performed on the grounds of “Criminal Offence and Danger to Mental Health”.
Lower abortion rates indicate that the decrease in the number of abortions was due to fewer women having abortions rather than to changes in the size or age structure of the population.
Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2011
A detailed report from the Abortion Supervisory Committee on abortion statistics in New Zealand for the year ended 2010.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee reviews all the provisions of New Zealand’s abortion law, and the operation and effect of those provisions. This includes licensing institutions to perform abortions and the appointment of certifying consultants to consider cases. The Committee is constituted under the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977.


Our Commentary on the Abortion Supervisory Committee

For commentary from our blog on the Abortion Supervisory Committee, click here.


More Information

For more information on the Abortion Supervisory Committee visit the Ministry of Justice Abortion Supervisory site.


Can’t find the stats you are looking for in the ASC report?

For access to more detailed information not included in the 2011 report, contact the Abortion Supervisory Committee by phone, fax or email.

Use the following contact details for general enquiries and Official Information Act requests to the Abortion Supervisory Committee.


(04) 462 6660


(04) 462 6686


Postal address

Abortion Supervisory Committee
Tribunals Unit
Private Bag 32-001
Panama Street
Wellington 6146

Street address

Abortion Supervisory Committee
Tribunals Unit
Level 1, 86 Customhouse Quay
Wellington 6011

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