by Steven Ertelt
June 15, 2006
Wellington, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — Abortions in New Zealand declined almost four percent in 2005, continuing a trend of a lowering of the number of abortions in the island nation. New statistics from the government’s health agency show abortions dropped from 18,210 in 2004 to 17,530 in 2005. The decrease of 680 abortions is a decline of 3.7 percent.
There are also 981 fewer abortions than in 2003 when there were 18,511 abortions reported.
In a statement sent to LifeNews.com, Right to Life New Zealand said it is delighted with the decrease and hopes the downward trend will continue.
Ken Orr, the spokesman for Right to Life of New Zealand said his group believes abortions are going down because more people are experiencing the negative effects of an abortion or know others who have.
"Right to Life attributes this decrease in abortions mainly to the growing awareness among women that abortions hurt women and may result in serious spiritual, psychological and physical damage to women’s health, including an increased risk of breast cancer," Orr told LIfeNews.com.
The new figures also show a reduction in repeat abortions. In 2005 there were 6,321 repeat abortions; this was a decrease of 194 on the 6,515 repeat abortions reported for 2004.
European women are also having fewer abortions in New Zealand. In 2005 there were 9,732 European women who had an abortion, a decrease of 626 on the 10,358 European women who had an abortion in 2004.
The median age of women having an abortion has remained stable over the last decade at around 25 years.
"Our abortion statistics still represent a violation of the human rights of unborn children and a disregard for the health and welfare of women facing an unplanned pregnancy," Orr added.
He said his group calls on the New Zealand government to do more to limit abortions and to ultimately provide legal protection for unborn children.
"Right to Life will continue to seek legal recognition of the unborn child as a human being endowed by its Creator with an inalienable right to life," Orr said. "We are committed to working for the ideal of no abortions in New Zealand and the day when regardless of circumstances every child from conception will be valued, respected and protected."
Orr also told LifeNews.com that it wants the New Zealand government to do away with "safe sex" education programs and replace them with abstinence-only education, saying it would lower the abortion rates further.