By Tim Waggoner

WELLINGTON, NZ, June 17, 2008 ( – Recent abortion statistics for New Zealand reveal that 18,380 abortions were reported for 2007. This is the second highest number of abortions annually reported in New Zealand and 450 more abortions than the 17,930 reported in 2006.  Right to Life New Zealand say stats indicate growing abuses against women.

According to the Statistics New Zealand, the general abortion rate was 20.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years in 2007, up from 19.6 per 1,000 in 2006.  As well, women aged 20-24 years had 37 abortions per 1,000 women; the highest abortion rate among age groups in 2007. 

In 2007, the mean age of women having abortions was 24.5 and 65 percent of abortions were a woman’s first time doing so.

Right to Life New Zealand warn the stats represent the growing “exploitation” of women and spoke out against the many abuses that pregnant women face.

“These statistics represent the continued exploitation and abuse of vulnerable women. Often it is not women who choose abortion, it is often a decision made by others. Studies conducted in the United States reveal that 64 per cent of women who have an abortion are coerced by others through emotional blackmail, coercion threats or violence from boyfriends, husbands, parents, employers, doctors, counselors or others. Frequently the father of the unborn child refuses to accept responsibility for the child he has fathered and threatens to abandon the mother if she does not have an abortion. In the United States murder is the leading cause of death among pregnant women who refuse to abort their child,” stated Right to Life.

The pro-life organization also questioned why the government refuses to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion: “There were 90 non-family adoptions in New Zealand last year. There are thousands of loving families that long to adopt these babies. Why does the government not promote adoption as a loving option?”

Right to Life also referred to the recent judgment of the High Court in New Zealand, which will require the Abortion Supervisory Committee to hold certifying consultants accountable for the lawfulness of the abortions that they authorise.

“Right to Life fervently hopes that violence against women and their unborn will be eliminated with the implementation of the recent judgement of the high court… Right to Life has advocated to the Committee that all women considering an abortion be given the opportunity of choosing to view an ultrasound scan of their child in the womb. It is scandalous that the protocol followed in abortion clinics cruelly denies women this opportunity even when they request it. Studies done in the United States reveal that more than 80 per cent of women who see an ultrasound scan of their baby refuse to have an abortion.”

See related coverage:

New Zealand High Court Acknowledges Thousands of Illegal Abortions for “Mental Illness”