Lack of national abortion data impedes development of sexual and reproductive health care policies and programs for young Australians
Recent data show a steady decrease in adolescent births to a historic low of 10 births per 1000 15–19‐year‐olds.1 Notwithstanding that some adolescent pregnancies are planned or wanted, these data are surely positive, as pregnant adolescents are vulnerable to numerous adversities and delaying pregnancy is healthier for mothers and children.2 However, birth rates reflect access to comprehensive sexuality education, reliable contraception and safe abortion. Specifically, as lower birth rates may reflect higher abortion rates, a complete national picture is required. More broadly, pregnancy and its outcomes reflect various inequities that continue to affect adolescents and their offspring across their lives. Greater understanding of adolescent pregnancy outcomes, including abortion, would help shape a suite of interventions for vulnerable adolescents, including interventions that facilitate access to quality schooling and alleviate poverty.
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