About abortion statistics
Abortion is defined as foetal loss excluding stillbirths. Induced abortions are those initiated voluntarily with the intention of terminating a pregnancy. All other abortions are called spontaneous abortions, even if an external cause is involved, such as injury or high fever.
All abortion statistics and derived abortion rates included in this release are based on legally induced abortions registered in New Zealand. In New Zealand the grounds on which an abortion is permitted are described in the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 and in section 187A of the Crimes Act 1961. In any year, 98–99 percent of all abortions are performed because of serious danger to the mental health of the woman. No information is available on spontaneous or illegal abortions.
Statistics New Zealand produces and disseminates induced abortion statistics on behalf of the Abortion Supervisory Committee.
Duration of pregnancy: refers to the Xth week not complete weeks. For example, 7 weeks and 5 days is recorded as 8 weeks.
Estimated de facto population: is an estimate of all people present in a given area at a given date. The estimated de facto population of New Zealand includes all people present in New Zealand. Visitors from overseas are included, but New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas are excluded.
Estimated resident population: is an estimate of all people who usually live in a given area at a given date. The estimated resident population of New Zealand includes all residents present in New Zealand. Visitors from overseas are excluded and New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas are included.
Live births: live births registered in New Zealand by date of registration.
Median age: half are younger and half are older than this age.
Stillbirth: from 1 September 1995, is a child born dead that either weighs 400g or more at birth or is born after the 20th week of gestation. Before 1 September 1995, a stillbirth is defined as a child born dead after 28 weeks of gestation.
For more definitions, see Glossary of Common Terms.