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Underage abortion: a parent's right to know

Bill English

National Member of Parliament

26 May 2004

Underage abortion: a parent's right to know

Helen Clark's statement that 16 is probably too young to start a sexual relationship should guide the government on legislation that allows underage girls to have abortions without parental knowledge or consent, says National MP Bill English.

In passing the Care of Children Bill, Parliament will re-enact existing law that exempts abortion from law requiring parental consent for any other medical procedure.

"If Labour now believes that the law should discourage minors from sexual relationships, how can they justify allowing the same young people to make decisions regarding abortion with no parental knowledge?

"At the very least parents have the right to know that their daughter is considering abortion, or that she has had an abortion.

"Helen Clark has correctly picked that the public will not tolerate Labour's liberal views on underage sex. Now she has the chance to bring the law on underage abortion into line with her own view, and that of most New Zealanders," says Mr English.

"If parents don't know, they can't care"


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