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Abortion Statistics

 

HOW MANY ABORTIONS IN AUSTRALIA?


In 2005 The Department of Health and Ageing estimated that there are approximately 83,000 abortions in Australia each year (see Table 1 below) [1]. This number equates to almost one abortion for every 2.8 births [2]. However, the exact numbers of abortions are extremely difficult to obtain [3]. What are the reasons for this?


To start with:


• There is no routinely collected national abortion statistics.

• Only South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory collect abortion statistics. But there are reports of discrepancies existing within the various Health Departments management, and amongst abortionists/doctors and clinic staff, regarding the documenting of abortion related information. Under reporting, or even failure to report, appears a frequent occurrence.

• They reflect only abortions from which a Medicare rebate has been claimed.

• They do not report on abortions in which no rebate is claimed nor do they capture women who have abortions as public patients in a public hospital. For example, approximately only one quarter of all abortions in Victoria are performed in the public health system. [4]

• Abortions performed after 24 weeks are not included in the data, as there is no rebate through the Medicare Benefits Schedule. [5]

 

 

The following statistics are from South Australia in 2014:

Note: Below the statistics see 'HOW MANY BABIES SURVIVED THE ABORTION?' 

 

 

REASONS WHY  WOMEN HAD ABORTIONS AND GESTATIONAL AGE*  (* see  note for table 9a)  


FETAL ABNORMALITY  

(Note: Severity of abnormality varies, eg cleft plate, downs syndrome, anencephaly; as well as only a potential abnormality.)  

 

HOW THE ABORTIONS WERE PERFORMED

 

 NUMBER OF WOMEN WHO HAD PREVIOUS ABORTION/S

 

 AGE BY SEMESTER AND  NUMBER  UNBORN CHILDREN ABORTED + AGE OF WOMAN  

(Note 'gestational age' is age from woman's  last menstrual period)

 

 

WHERE WERE ABORTIONS CARRIED OUT (PUBLIC HOSPITALS)?

 

HOW MANY BABIES SURVIVED THE ABORTION?


Quite often babies are delivered alive as a result of a failed abortion. What happens to the babies?

 Because these babies are deemed so unwanted they are then left to die, and in some cases even deliberately killed (for more information see site’s BORN  ALIVE LEFT TO DIE ).

 

The following were the responses from various state and territory's Health Departments regarding the number of born alive babies (survivors of abortion): 

 

Australian Capital Territory (ACT )- A/g Director, Office of the Chief Health Officer Population Health Division: "The ACT does not gather data on termination of pregnancy …" 15th October 2008


New South Wales (NSW) - Health Ethics Branch NSW A/Senior Policy Officer: "Data on terminations for NSW is problematic." 9th October 2008
Note - In NSW, in 2000, a coroner investigated the death of a baby found alive in a bin after an abortion in Sydney's Westmead Hospital and also learned there had been more such cases, but none had been officially reported. [6]


Queensland (Qld ) - The number of aborted babies delivered alive for 2015 was 27. See story HERE  No other annual numbers are made available.


• South Australia (SA)
- The number of aborted babies delivered alive and left to die were as follows: in 2000 - 7 babies; 2001 - 14; 2002 - 7; 2003 - 3; 2004 - 13; 2005 - 5; 2006 - 3; 2007 - 5. [7]


Tasmania (Tas) - No response from Health Department after several attempts.
Contacted the Health Department during late 2008 and early 2009.


Victoria (Vic) - In 2007, 54 babies were delivered alive and left to die. [8]


Western Australia (WA) - Department of Health, Information Division Program Manager: "A data item related to whether aborted babies are born alive is not part of the Abortions Collection and therefore this information is not available within Information Management and Reporting." 16th December 2008


Northern Territory (NT) - A/Executive Director, Acute care: Anecdotally, advised that there were no instances. 20th October 2008

 

Note - The A/Executive advisers failed to mention at least one officially reported case:
A coroner's hearing in Darwin reported how ‘Jessica Jane’, was born alive and left to die in a Darwin hospital in 1998 after a botched abortion. Northern Territory coroner, Greg Cavanagh, was told of how Jessica’s a tiny but perfect little body, was slipped into a stainless steel dish and left alone in a room where she cried until she died, 80 minutes later.


At the inquest Cavanagh called, he was also told that other late-term babies had been born alive after abortions in the NT, only to be left to die. And none of those deaths had been officially reported or publicised.
[9] 

 

HOW MANY ABORTION PROVIDERS?


In 2005 there were 811 abortion providers, with 205 public hospitals providing abortions. [10]
It is recognised that there are "career" abortionists taking advantage of Medicare rebates. For example, in 2005 there were 11 doctors who each did more than 2,000 Medicare funded abortions for the year; that's an average 38.5 abortions a week or nearly 8 per day (if a 5 day working week) [11].

 

 

 


 

References

1 Rosenthal D, Rowe H, Mallett S, Hardiman A, Kirkman M. Understanding women's
experiences of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. Melbourne: Key Centre for Women's
Health in Society, University of Melbourne; 2009
2 There were 251,200 registered births in 2003 Australian Bureau of Statistics 'Births in Aust.' www.abs.gov.au
3 Pratt A, Biggs A, Buckmaster L. How many abortions are there in Australia? A discussion of abortion statistics, their limitations, and options for improved statistical collection. Canberra:Department of the Parliamentary Library; 2005
4 Clavant S. Political barriers to women accessing abortion. Proceedings of the 4th Australian’s Women’s Health Conference; February 19-21; Adelaide2002.
5 Grayson N, Hargreaves J, Sullivan E. Use of routinely collected national data sets for reporting on induced abortion in Australia. Sydney: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, National Perinatal Statistics Unit; 2005.
6 Andrew Bolt: But killing is killing, isn’t it? Herald Sun 6th Feb 2009
7 Information supplied by SA Health Department to SA resident (RWR
 has copy of letter)
8 The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity's Annual Report for the Year 2007 in Victoria
9 Andrew Bolt: But killing is killing, isn’t it? Herald Sun, 6th Feb 2009
10 Senator Ron Boswell, 2005: http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=2885
11 Ibid

 

TABLES

Table 9b  South Australian Abortion Reporting Committee Annual Report for 2014, page 7 
Table 8b  Ibid p6

Table 10a  Ibid  p8

Table 13a Ibid p11

Table 9a p7

Table 6  p5

 

For more of latest abortion statistics/information google> South Australian Abortion Reporting Committee Annual Report for 2014