Almost 900 New Zealand Women Hospitalized for Botched Abortions

International   |   Ken Orr   |   Apr 9, 2012   |   12:45PM   |   Wellington, New Zealand

A total of 877 women were admitted to hospital in New Zealand between 2009 and 2011 for the treatment of complications following abortions. The total number of bed-days totalled 1047. These important statistics reveal that abortions not only kill an unborn child but can result in damage to a woman’s health.

This information was obtained recently under the Official Information Act, from the Ministry of Health. Information on the nature and severity of the complications is not available. There were a total of 52,120 abortions reported to the Abortion Supervisory Committee in 2009 to 2011. The hospital admittance rate for women being treated for complications arising from abortions was 1.68 percent. This important information is not included in the Committee’s annual report to Parliament. Why was it necessary to utilise the Official Information Act to obtain important information concerning the health of women that should be freely available in the public domain?

Abortionists are required to report to the Committee any complications that result from abortions prior to the woman being discharged. It is noted that a number of the 877 women admitted for treatment for complications would have been admitted to hospital immediately following the abortion, however their hospitalisation is not required to be advised to the Committee. The remainder of the women would have been discharged from the abortion facility after their abortion and then subsequently readmitted to hospital.

In 2010 Right to Life obtained from the Committee under the Official Information Act, statistics of complications reported by abortionists to the Committee in 2010.The information revealed that there were a total of 73 complications reported in the performance of 17,550 abortions; a complication rate of 0.42 percent. These statistics are collated by Statistics New Zealand on behalf of the Committee. The Abortion Supervisory Committee does not include these statistics in its annual report to Parliament on the grounds that the incidence of complication is so small and not worthy of report.

Right to Life believes that there is considerable under reporting of complications by abortionists that give women a false impression that abortion is a safe procedure. The Committee also excludes from its annual report to Parliament any statistical information on the number of women who are admitted to hospital for the treatment of a complication arising from abortion. The Committee has for many years congratulated abortionists for their skill in providing the women of New Zealand with “safe” abortions.

There are many complications both physical and psychological that damage a woman’s health. Right to Life sought information under the Official information Act from the Ministry of Health on the number of women who were admitted to hospital for psychiatric treatment following an abortion. Our Society was advised that this information was not recorded.

A study of the medical records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160 per cent more likely than women delivering a baby to be hospitalised for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery. Rates of psychiatric treatment remained significantly higher for at least four years. A five year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found that 25 per cent of women who had had abortions, made visits to psychiatrists and were more likely than others to require admission to a psychiatric hospital.

The Committee has a statutory duty under the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act to provide an annual report to Parliament. Section 14 states that the Committee has a duty “To monitor, analyse, collate, and disseminate information relating to the performance of abortions in New Zealand: Right to Life asks:

  • · Why is information about the number of women admitted to Hospital for the treatment of complications resulting from an abortion not included in the Committee’s annual report to Parliament?
  • · How does the Committee reconcile a complication rate of 0.42 per cent with a hospital admittance rate of 1.68 per cent? (which is four times higher!)
  • · What action is the Committee taking to ensure that all complications resulting from an abortion prior to the discharge of the woman are notified to the Committee?
  • · Why does the Ministry of Health not record the admittance of women to a psychiatric hospital for treatment as a result of having an abortion? Note: Ken Orr is the spokesman for Right to Life of New Zealand.