How have abortions changed in Victoria over the past decade

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Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

Observational study: A study in which the subject is observed to see if there is a relationship between two or more things (eg: the consumption of diet drinks and obesity). Observational studies cannot prove that one thing causes another, only that they are linked.

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The rate of abortions in Victoria appears to have declined over the past decade and the proportion of women having medication abortions instead of surgical abortions in hospitals is on the rise, according to two Australian studies. In the first paper, the researchers looked at the number of women who gave birth in Victoria between 2010-2019 who report having had an abortion. They say over the study period, the number of women who said they’d had an abortion declined, however the decline was mostly found in major cities. In the second paper, another team looked at data on the number of hospital-based abortions in Victoria from 2012-2022 and the number of prescriptions for mifepristone–misoprostol, a medication for early abortion. The researchers say there was a decline in hospital abortions over the study period, and an increase in mifepristone–misoprostol prescriptions.

Journal/conference: Medical Journal of Australia

Organisation/s: The University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, The University of Sydney, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)

Funder: Paper 1: Wendy Norman is supported as an Applied Public
Health Research Chair (2014–24) by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(CPP-329455–
07837). We acknowledge members of the SPHERE Centre of
Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care
(SPHERE CRE) for their contributions to this investigation, which was funded by the
National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1153592). The funding sources
had no role in study design, data collection, analysis or interpretation, reporting
or publication. Paper 2: Lisa Hui has a National Health and Medical Research Council
fellowship (1105603). Eleanor Johnson is supported by a Melbourne Academic Centre
for Health fellowship. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, data
analysis, data interpretation, or the writing of the report.

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