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Giving free emergency contraceptive pills to girls and women may have reduced the number of abortions performed, the Auckland District Health Board says.
A six-month pilot programme, which cost $300,000, ends tomorrow but the board said it was too early to say if offering the Levonelle 1 pill free at Auckland city pharmacies had had any effect on teen pregnancies.
The board's planning and funding manager, Wendy Hoskin, indicated in a paper it may have affected the number of terminations performed at the board's Epsom Day Unit, the region's main abortion provider.
She said the number of abortions had dropped by 13% from October-December. She said there could be a variety of reasons but early results showed a positive trend, The New Zealand Herald reported today.
However, the figures would need to be studied in more detail before it could be determined whether the pill project had really had an effect.