NZ Herald August 14, 2008
A groundbreaking study has found that more than one in every six women who have ever been pregnant in Auckland have had an abortion. The abortion rate rises to one in every three among women of Asian ethnicity, and is also above-average for younger women and for women who have suffered domestic violence. The rate is lower for rural women in the Waikato, where only one in nine has had an abortion.
The figures have been published in two new papers stemming from a survey of about 1400 women aged 18 to 64 in Auckland and a similar number in rural Waikato in 2002, which was focused on finding the rates of domestic violence and associated factors. The new papers show, not surprisingly, that domestic violence is associated with higher rates of both intentional abortions and accidental miscarriages, as well as with higher rates of drinking, smoking and unwanted pregnancies. But lead author Janet Fanslow of Auckland University said the surveys also provided the first-ever measures of the prevalence of both abortion and miscarriage in New Zealand. AdvertisementThe overall abortion rate of 14 per cent among all women who have ever been pregnant was much lower than in the United States, where 29 per cent of ever-pregnant women under 45 had had an abortion, according to an official survey in 1995.