28 Mar 2009

Emergency pill may be lowering abortion rate

1:34 pm on 28 March 2009

The trial of a free emergency contraceptive pill is behind a 13% drop in abortions in Auckland, initial findings suggest.

Auckland District Health Board is five months into the $300,000 trial, which gives Auckland women the "morning-after pill" for free in a bid to reduce pregnancies and abortions. The pills can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of having sex.

The health board was originally concerned that the emergency contraceptive pill was being used instead of other methods of contraception, but says this study appears to show nearly half of the users had never taken the pill before.

It also shows a 13% reduction in terminated pregnancies since the start of the trial, which concludes next week.