Here's the summary Statistics NZ:
The number of abortions performed in New Zealand decreased in the year ended December 2009, Statistics New Zealand said today. A total of 17,550 induced abortions were performed in New Zealand in the December 2009 year, 390 (2 percent) less than in 2008 (17,940).ALRANZ reckons this highlights, again, the need for increasing access to abortion at the earliest possible stages, as half of all abortions in 2009 were performed during or after the 10th week of gestation. This in turn supports Family Planning's bid to be able to provide early medical abortion via the pill previously known as RU486.
The general abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) decreased from 19.7 per 1,000 in 2008 to 19.2 in 2009. In 1999, the general abortion rate was 18.0 per 1,000.
Women aged 20–24 years had more abortions than any other age group. Their abortion rate was 36 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 years in 2009.
The median age of women having an abortion was 24 years in 2009.
It makes sense to me to have a nationwide organisation with expertise in sexual and reproductive health offering the abortion pill as widely as possible. The earlier a termination is performed the better for the woman involved and the easier for the health system to manage. We have huge holes currently, massive parts of our country where abortions are not available (see Maia's depressing map in this post), and allowing Family Planning to offer the abortion pill would help greatly. If FPA offer access to early medical abortion at all their clinics then that will mean 5 new places in the South Island alone that will have some form of access, in particular on the West Coast. The impact this will make for women's choices around whether or not to continue a pregnancy should not be underestimated.
A key part of being pro-choice is not just acknowledging a woman's right to make the choice, for herself, but also supporting access to abortion in a safe and timely manner. The choice should not be limited by an inability to get a termination.
Hat tip to ALRANZ's email newsletter for the info and the inspiration to blog about it.