Bay women had the second lowest rate of abortions in the country last year but some health professionals say having to travel outside the region may have played a part.
Recent statistics show that 16 out of every 1000 Bay women aged 15-44 years had abortions last year.
This was fewer than all regions bar Southland at 15 per 1000 and four below the national rate of 20 per 1000.
Western Bay GPs Association president Neil Matson said the travel factor might have put some expectant mothers off.
"It may have something to do with the difficulty of getting it done," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.
Tauranga Hospital has a contract with Thames Hospital for abortions but sometimes calls upon Waikato and Whakatane or does the procedure itself, with abnormal pregnancies such as rape.
Dr Matson said abortions had not been done regularly at Tauranga Hospital for a decade or so.
"It got to the stage where there was a bit of pressure on local gynaecologists from lobby groups and they sort of thought it was too hard," Dr Matson.
Regional abortion statistics were obtained from Statistics New Zealand following the news that the nation had experienced its first drop in the numbers of procedures since 1998.
The overall rate dropped from 21 per 1000 in 2003 to 20.5 last year - equating to 300 fewer abortions being carried out.
The Family Planning Association was thrilled with the decline - and credits an increase in sex education, greater access to and cheaper contraception and a push to educate foreign students on the dangers of unprotected sex.
"We are delighted. It's the first time it has gone down for a long while ... about a decade," said national medical adviser Christine Roke.
"We are hoping it will be the first of many drops."
She said the Bay's comparatively high Maori population may have contributed to the region's low rate.
"On the whole, Maori pregnancies will be continued rather than being considered for termination. There's much more of a whanau focus."
Dr Matson agreed demographics probably came into it.
"A combination maybe of the different population group, the student group moving out, the relative difficulty of getting it done ... maybe there is stronger family support in the area?"
Thames Hospital area manager Jacqui Mitchell also questioned whether the travel distance played a part.
She had not noticed a decrease in procedures in general.