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'The DECIDE' medical abortion statistics response

Updated: Feb 18

16 February 2023

Ken Orr

By email: Ref: H2022018711


Response to your request for official information

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) to Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health) on 15 December 2022 for information regarding women's health.

By way of context, Manatū Hauora collects abortion data in line with the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Information Collection) Regulations 2021. All the figures you have requested are not routinely collected by Manatū Hauora from abortion providers as it is not a requirement of this legislation.

The DECIDE national telehealth service provides advice and counselling for people considering an abortion. DECIDE provides early medical abortion (EMA) advice by phone, however, it is only one of the options available for people seeking an early medical abortion. Not all EMAs or advice is provided by DECIDE. Patients are encouraged to choose the abortion provider and abortion method that best suits their individual needs.

Alongside usual reporting requirements, DECIDE has contractual obligations to provideManatū Hauora with specific data on their services. This is reported monthly.

Due to this special reporting, Manatū Hauora is able to answer some of your questions in relation to the DECIDE service for November 2022 only. Statistics for December 2022 were not held at the time your request was made.

I will respond to each part of your request in turn in respect to the period of 1 November to 30 November 2022.

The number of women who had the pills mifepristone and misoprostol couriered or posted to them for an early medical abortion.

From 1 November 2022 to 30 November 2022, 120 patients had mifepristone and misoprostol couriered or posted to them for an early medical abortion through the DECIDE service.

The number of prescriptions for mifepristone and misoprostol that were signed by medical practitioners, practice nurses or midwives.

Manatū Hauora does not collect the information requested and there is no requirement under the Act for agencies to create new information, provide an opinion or compile information that is not part of the usual reporting process. As such this part of your request is refused under section 18(g) of the Act. The Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 states that only a qualified health practitioner can provide abortion services.

The number of women who had a prescription for the pills mifepristone and misoprostol sent to a pharmacist for collection.