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Abortion figures continue to be a tragedy for teens and families

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Family First Media Release - 14 JUNE 2007 - www.familyfirst.org.nz

The abortion figures for 2006 released by Statistics NZ today continue to paint a terrible picture for our teenagers.

Since 1991, the number of 11-14 year olds having an abortion has increased by 144%. The number of abortions for 15-19 year olds has increased by 74%.

Each week, almost 80 teenagers have an abortion, and represent almost a quarter of all abortions performed in NZ.

"This is a tragedy for the unborn child, and for the girls involved, some as young as 11 ," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director. "It is also devastating for the extended family, who hopefully are aware of what has happened and can offer their support, rather than the young girl having been sneaked off for the abortion by Family Planning or a School Counselor."

"It also provides evidence that the myth of safe sex pushed by Family Planning, the AIDS Foundation and similar groups is miserably failing our vulnerable young people, who are being made even more vulnerable by then being encouraged to have an abortion," says Bob McCoskrie. "This is why 83% of parents in a recent US Zogby poll believe that programs should reinforce the abstinence message."

New Zealand has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy among OECD countries, according to the recently released UNICEF Report on Child Maltreatment 2007. Last year, the teen fertility rate was 28.4 births per 1000 women aged between 15 and 19. Only the United States has a poorer rate.

Despite a small increase in total abortions in the past year, the number of abortions has increased by over 60% since 1990. At the same time as almost 18,000 abortions were being performed in NZ last year, adoptions totalled less than 90, according to the Adoption Option Trust.

"Abortions being performed at greater than 12 weeks has increased by 220%, despite all the pictures and scans we are seeing showing the fetal development of the unborn child," says Mr McCoskrie. "These images are obviously being kept hidden from some of the women seeking an abortion,"

"These latest figures show that the Abortion Supervisory Committee continues to fail both women and the unborn child."

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