The number of abortions in New Zealand has risen slightly, reversing a decade-long trend.

The abortion rate among women aged 15 to 44 was 13.7 per 1000 women last year, up from 13.5 per cent in 2016.

The rate had fallen every year between 2007 and 2016.

Women aged between 20 and 24 were most likely to get an abortion, with a rate of 13.8 abortions per 1000 women in this agegroup.


Teen abortion rates fell slightly in the latest data to 9.2 abortions per 1000 women, down from 9.4 per cent.

Almost two-thirds of abortions were the woman's first, and most (59 per cent) were within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

The proportion of abortions from women who already had children was rising, up from 50 per cent in 2007 to 57 per cent in 2017.

The total number of abortions performed in hospitals and licensed clinics was 13,285 in the year to June 2017, well down from a peak of 18,511 in 2003.

Abortion laws in New Zealand are set to be overhauled soon. The coalition Government has asked the Law Commission to investigate reform options.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose party campaigned on reforming abortion laws, wants it to be treated as a health issue and removed from the Crimes Act.