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Induced abortions

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The Daily

Friday, July 13, 2007

Canadian women obtained fewer induced abortions in 2004 compared with the previous year, and the decline occurred mostly among women in their 20s.

A total of 100,039 induced abortions were performed on Canadian women in 2004, down 2.9% from 103,001 in 2003. As a result, the induced abortion rate edged down from 15.1 abortions for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2003 to 14.6 in 2004.

Induced abortion rates fell in every age group, except among women aged 40 and over, where it remained the same. Women in their 20s experienced the largest decline in rates, from 25.8 for every 1000 women in 2003 to 24.7 in 2004.

The number of induced abortions for every 100 live births fell to 29.7 in 2004 from 30.8 in 2003.

Among teenage women under the age of 20, the induced abortion rate in 2004 was 13.8 for every 1,000 women, down from 14.4 the year before. The induced abortion rate for these women has declined gradually since 1996 when it peaked at 18.9.

The crude birth rate for teenaged women has also continued to decline. In 1996, there were 18.6 live births for every 1,000 women under 20. By 2004, this had dropped to 11.4.

Induced abortions continue to be most common among women in their 20s. They accounted for 53% of all women who obtained an induced abortion in 2004. On average, 25 women out of every 1,000 in their 20s obtained an induced abortion.

Induced abortion rates remained the same, or increased, among women in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

They declined in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

Note: Data for 2004 cover induced abortions performed in hospitals and clinics in provinces and territories, except those performed in Manitoba clinics, for which data were unavailable. In order for comparisons to be made, induced abortions performed in Manitoba clinics in 2003 were excluded. Therefore, rates and counts published above will not correspond to those previously published. As of 2004, induced abortions obtained by Canadian women in some American states are no longer collected. Users should be aware of certain limitations with the Therapeutic Abortion Survey. There are recognized issues concerning coverage, increased submission of aggregate counts instead of detailed records, and an increased reliance on age estimates.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3209.

Selected tables for the years 2000 to 2004 are available in the Summary tables module of our website.

Historical statistics dating back to 1970 are available in the publication Induced Abortion Statistics (82-223-XWE, free), from the Publications module of our website.

Induced abortion data for 2004 were collected by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. For more information on the Therapeutic Abortion Database, contact Media Relations (613-241-7860, ext. 4004), Canadian Institute for Health Information.

For information on long-term trends in induced abortions, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (613-951-1746,, Health Statistics Division.

Tables. Table(s).