Ten Teens Have Abortion Each Day

Family First Media Release June 17, 2010
Family First NZ says it is a tragedy that 3,952 teenagers had an abortion last year – an average of over 10 every day – according to figures released by Statistics NZ today.

“Figures obtained by Family First from Statistics NZ also show that 529 of these teenagers have had a previous abortion and 67 girls are on to their 3rd or more abortion,” says Marina Young, Spokesperson for Family First NZ. “Teen abortions account for just over a quarter of all abortions in 2009. Since 1991, the number of teens having an abortion has increased by almost 70%.”

“This is a tragedy for the girls involved, some as young as 11. It is also devastating for the extended family, especially if the young girl has been sneaked off for the abortion by Family Planning or a School Counselor without the parents’ knowledge or consent.”

“The Abortion Supervisory Committee has been rebuked by the High Court recently for not administering the law correctly, and it is time to revisit the abortion-on-demand culture that currently exists in NZ.”

“It is incorrect to label this as ‘pro-choice’, because nobody chooses to be in the situation of an unwanted pregnancy and having to make such a difficult decision.”

A University of Otago study in 2008 found that women who had an abortion faced a 30% increase in the risk of developing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Other studies have found a link between abortion and psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders. And the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK recommended updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. They said that consent could not be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information.

“With 98% of abortions in NZ being performed on the basis of the mental health of the mother, it is time that the research on the post-abortion mental health outcomes was given equal weight with the pre-abortion claims.”

“Along with protecting the rights of the unborn child, we need to protect the rights of women to know the medical facts in order that they can make fully informed decisions,” says Mrs Young.

Family First NZ is calling for a law which requires informed consent (including ultrasound) for all potential abortions, and counselling to be provided only by non-providers of abortion services. Parental notification of teenage pregnancy and abortion should happen automatically except in exceptional circumstances approved by the court.

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