by Steven Ertelt
June 14, 2007
Wellington, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — The government of New Zealand released new abortion figures on Wednesday and they show that the number of abortions done on teenagers is rising significantly. Every week in the island nation, about 80 teenagers get an abortion and they account for about 25 percent of all abortions there.
Statistics New Zealand reports that, since 1991, the number of 11-14 year old children having abortions has increased by 144 percent while the number of abortions done on 15-19 year-old teenagers has risen 74 percent.
"This is a tragedy for the unborn child, and for the girls involved, some as young as 11," says Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First, a pro-life group.
Despite a small increase in total abortions in the past year, the number of abortions has increased by over 60% since 1990.
At the same time as almost 18,000 abortions were being performed in NZ last year, adoptions totaled less than 90, according to the Adoption Option Trust.
The group indicated that more needs to be done to tell women about the development of their unborn child.
"Abortions being performed at greater than 12 weeks has increased by 220%, despite all the pictures and scans we are seeing showing the fetal development of the unborn child," says McCoskrie. "These images are obviously being kept hidden from some of the women seeking an abortion."
"These latest figures show that the Abortion Supervisory Committee continues to fail both women and the unborn child," he said.
"It is also devastating for the extended family, who hopefully are aware of what has happened and can offer their support, rather than the young girl having been sneaked off for the abortion by Family Planning or a School Counselor," he added.
McCoskrie added that the new abortion figures prove that safe sex campaigns that focus on promoting contraception over abstinence don’t work and is failing the young people of the country by putting them in a position to have to consider an abortion.
"This is why 83% of parents in a recent US Zogby poll believe that programs should reinforce the abstinence message," he said.
New Zealand has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy among OECD countries, according to the recently released UNICEF Report on Child Maltreatment 2007. Last year, the teen fertility rate was 28.4 births per 1000 women aged between 15 and 19. Only the United States has a poorer rate.