Australia Women Over 30 More Likely to Have Abortion Than Teens

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Women Over 30 More Likely to Have Abortion Than Teens Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 17
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — New figures in Australia show that women over the age of 30 there are now more likely than teenagers to have an abortion. Observers say the figures may point to a new trend showing that women are increasingly opting to delay motherhood and using abortion to do so.

Researchers at Flinders University conducted a study of abortion data over the past decade and found the trend. They presented the research at a women’s health conference in Sydney yesterday.

According to the statistics, the number of women between the ages of 30 and 50 having abortion has shot up from 25 percent of all abortions to 33 percent of all abortions between July 1996 and July 2006.

During the same time period, the number of women under 20 having abortions has declined from 25 percent of all abortions done to 18 percent. That’s the lowest percentage recorded in the last decade, they explained.

According to a report in the Courier Mail newspaper, the Flinders University researchers said that women in their 20s have consistently had about half of all abortions done in Australia. While the makeup of older and younger women changed, their abortion rates stayed the same.

Wendy Abigail, who led the team that analyzed the data, told the newspaper that the drop in teenage abortions could be a result of wider availability of the morning after pill and extra funding the nation’s government is giving to poor women to help them have their babies.

She surmised that older women may be less likely to use the Plan B drug and may not have the same financial considerations that might compel younger women to have abortions.

She also indicated older women may be more likely to have abortions because of their desire not to interfere with already-established careers.

"Women are making more reproductive decisions in their 30s and 40s, and now more than ever it seems, whether it’s to have a child or terminate one," Abigail told the Courier Mail.

Infertility expert Professor Michael Chapman said the abortion trend was obviously linked to the push to delay parenthood.

"[Abortion] is just another way of putting it off," he said.