For every induced abortion carried out in New Zealand, as approved under the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977, an ASC Form No. 4 (Notification of Abortion) must be completed and forwarded to the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) within one month of the abortion.
An abortion may only be performed in an institution licensed by the Abortion Supervisory Committee for this purpose.
The hospital or clinic send the completed ASC Form No 4 to the Tribunals Unit (a division of the Ministry of Justice). The Tribunals Unit provides the ASC with administrative services. The forms are then sent to Stats NZ who collates abortions data based on information from the notification form. Errors or omissions are referred back to the Tribunals Unit who liaises with the hospital or clinic. When Stats NZ has finished processing the forms they are returned to the Tribunals Unit.
The Population Insights Unit is responsible for producing a range of standard tables and abortion rates (including international indices) required by the ASC. Stats NZ delivers the annual abortion output report to the ASC at the same time as the annual Information and Media releases are made publically available.
Abortion data are aggregated annually and refer to December years.
For 2004–08 health domicile codes are based on the 2001 health domicile classification (this is based on the 2001 area unit classification). From 2009 health domicile codes are based on the 2006 health domicile classification (this is based on the 2006 area unit classification - 2006 boundaries are only used from 2009 because MOH did not release their 2006 version until July 2008).
Confidentiality To comply with Stats NZ's confidentiality protocols, some categories are collapsed or aggregated in tables and datasets.
December year. Statistics New Zealand's aim is to publish Abortion Statistics within 22 weeks of the end of the reference year.