Source: The Mercury, Friday, Novermber 13, 1998, p.2


Pregnancies:
just 50% end
with live baby

By FIONA CONNOLLY 
in Canberra 
 
HALF the women who fell 
pregnant in Australia last 
year failed to have a live 
baby, a national study has 
revealed. 
 
   Of the 500,000 Australian 
women expecting a child, 
150,000 miscarried, 95,000 
aborted their pregnancy and 
2000 babies were stillborn. 
 
   Statistics also show the 
number of babies born to 
unmarried mothers is on the 
rise. 
 
   The number of married 
mothers who gave birth during 
1997 toppled to an all-time low 
of 180,000. 
 
   Most babies born in wedlock 
arrived in the second year of 
marriage compared with the 
fourth year just a decade ago. 
 
   According to figures released 
yesterday by the Australian 
Bureau of Statistics, one in three 
Australian babies were last year 
born out of wedlock taking in 
28% of all births-a 70% 
increase over the past 10 years. 
 
   Church groups and right-to- 
life organisations have been 
quick to voice their concern 
over the increased abortions in 
Australia over the past year. 
 
   Concerned that abortions were 
becoming an "easy option" for 
unmarried and young mothers, 
the Catholic Church yesterday 
spoke out. 
 
   "Ninety-five thousand 
abortions in this country last 
year is a staggering figure, that 
is 10 times the people that were 
lost in hurricane Mitch," says 
Mon-signor John Walsh for the 
Catholic Church's Archdiocese 
of Sydney. 
 
   "The real issue is people have 
the freedom to engage in sexual 
relationships without concern 
for consequences. As long as 
that is the attitude, abortion will 
always be there," he said. 
 
But the Australian Medical 
 
Association was not surprised 
by the abortion figures. 
 
   "None of us like the idea of a 
termination-it's a necessary 
evil in the world and nowadays 
we don't want too many 
unwanted children," AMA 
obstetrician representative Dr 
Keith Hollybone said. 
 
   "Abortions get done these 
days and that's all there is to it." 
 
   Dr Hollybone was 
unconcerned by the number of 
miscarriages. 
 
   "Somewhere between 10 and 
20% of all pregnancies end in 
miscarriages, so the figures are 
reasonable-it is something I 
would expect," he said. 
 
   He said the figures were in line 
with his experience of 
miscarriages and stillbirths but 
warned of the factors 
contributing to these. 
 
   "Some forms of drug abuse can 
cause a miscarriage but mainly it 
is chromosome insufficiency, 
incompetent cervix problems, 
fevers or infections," he said. 
 
   The figures also showed half 
the number of unmarried 
pregnancies occurred in de facto 
relationships. 
 
   Family and Community 
Services Minister Jocelyn 
Newman said most babies born 
out of wedlock came from 
long-term relationships. 
 
   "We want to see more 
education in schools and in the 
home about how to become a 
parent- and a good parent," she 
said.

See also:

Birth figure shock: Married mums number declines




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