Canada Abortions Drop Over Three Percent in 2005 Sparked by Teen Decline

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Abortions Drop Over Three Percent in 2005 Sparked by Teen Decline

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 21
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — Canada experienced fewer abortions in 2005 according to new national figures, and a lowering of the number of teen abortions helped spark the decline. Overall, Statistics Canada indicates abortions lowered to 96,815 during that year, a decline of 3.2 percent from the 100,039 in 2004.

There were 105,154 abortions performed in Canada in 2002, according to Statistics Canada, showing abortions have been on the decline in recent years as they have been in the U.S.

The agency noted the abortion rate — the number of abortions for every 1,000 women — dropped as well. It went from 14.6 in 2004 to 14.1 for women aged 15 to 44 in 2005.

Abortion rates fell among every age category with the exception of women between the ages of 35 and 39, where it remained the same. Teens were responsible for the largest decline as the rate slipped to 13/1,000 from 13.8/1000 the year prior.

Teen abortions have been on a steady decline since 1998 when they peaked at a rate of 18.9/1,000.

Statistics Canada also reported that the number of pregnancies ending in abortion has declined and the numbers fell from 29.7 abortions for every 100 live births in 2004 to 28.3 in 2005.

The U.S. rate is closer to 20 percent of all pregnancies ending in abortion, a drop from about one-third in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Both drops show pro-life groups and pregnancy centers are persuading more women to keep their baby as opposed to having an abortion.

As in the United States, the new data from Statistics Canada shows women in their early 20s have more abortions — 31 percent in this case — than other age groups.

The agency said the new abortion figures cover the entire country and both public hospitals and private abortion businesses, with the exception of the province of Manitoba. Abortion data has been unavailable there since 2004.

The figures come a couple of weeks after 8,000 pro-life Canadians attended the 11th annual March for Life from Parliament Hill to the Human Rights Monument to oppose abortion. The march marks the anniversary of the May 14, 1969 bill that allowed abortions.

In 1967, Canadian justice minister Pierre Trudeau presented a bill to legalize abortion and it became law in 1969.

Canada followed the United States by 15 years in allowing abortions to be done across the nation without any major restrictions when, in January 1988, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled Canada’s abortion law was unconstitutional and allowed them to be done with even fewer limits than in the U.S.

The high court eventually ruled on an appeal abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler filed claiming the law was unconstitutional and that abortion should be allowed without any limits.

Polling data shows Canadians are pro-abortion but pro-life groups are making inroads with their educational efforts.

A November 2006 poll Environics Research Group conducted for LifeCanada found 31 percent said human life should be protected from conception.

Another 23 percent favored protecting human life after three months of pregnancy, up from 19 percent from the previous survey. Another 10 percent said to protect human life after six months of pregnancy, down from 11 percent, and 30 percent of Canadians say human life shouldn’t be protected until birth, down 3 percent.