Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Business Roundtable discovers new contraceptive

I see the Business Roundtable is at it again. They've commissioned a report from one Lindsay Mitchell, who is well known for being a virulent opponent of 'welfare' in general and the DPB in particular. The best way to stop young women - especially young Maori women - getting pregnant is to axe the DPB, she says.

Now I just happen to have been looking up teenage pregnancy statistics recently. Births to teenage women (aged under 20) climbed from 5,315 in 1962 to a high of 9,150 in 1972. That's an increase of 72 percent.

The DPB wasn't introduced until 1973. That was the year teenage births started to fall. By 1982, they had more than halved, to less than 4,500 - well below the 1962 number.

Of course, the number of births is related to the number of teenagers. So let's look at this another way. In the early 1970s, before the DPB, 70 out of every 1,000 female teenagers were having a child. By the mid-1980s, this was down to 30 per 1,000. It stayed between 30 and 35 until the late 1990s, then it trended down again. By 2002, the rate was at its lowest in our recorded history, at 25.6 per 1,000 female teenagers.

That's still high compared with all other developed countries except for the USA and UK. But there's no way you can argue that the DPB is responsible - or that axing it would lower the rate.

Business Roundtable members head up major companies. If this report represents what they consider to be inteligent analysis, it's a bit of a worry, eh.


  1. I have responded to your post;


  2. Oh dear - Lindsay seems to have an unpleasant readership - I hope you didn't bother to look, Anne.
    I saw your letter in the Dom Post this morning, and learnt more than from reading the rest of the paper (I would like to finish with another "oh dear", but shall resist the temptation)

  3. I really enjoyed reading your article.