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Underage abortions: parents’ right to know

Underage abortions: parents’ right to know

The medical unions should put their PC-rhetoric on underage abortions to one side and consider the rights and responsibilities of parents, says National’s Health spokeswoman Judith Collins.

Ms Collins is seeking to amend the Care of Children Bill, making parental notification mandatory for abortions where the girl is under the age of sixteen. Where the girl objects to parental notification a judicial bypass would be available.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the New Zealand Medical Council have written to all MPs signalling their opposition to the move.

An underage abortion is carried out in New Zealand every four days.

“The relationship between a medical practitioner and a patient is very important. It is, however, a relationship that may last no longer than a 15-minute appointment. The relationship between a parent and child will last a lifetime,” says Ms Collins

“We constantly tell parents that they should be more responsible for their children but if they don’t have all of the information, what can they do?

“I envisage a system where, when approached by a young girl seeking an abortion and objecting to parental notification, a medical practitioner immediately telephones the District Court to arrange an appointment for the girl to see a Judge in chambers within 24-hours.

“In cases of incest or sexual abuse it is imperative that the Police and CYF are informed and involved. The current law allows abused children to be sent straight back into abusive environments, allowing child sex abusers to get away with their heinous crimes.

“The threat of illegal or back-street abortions arising from this is just plain scaremongering. In jurisdictions where parental notification is mandatory, not only have teenage abortions fallen but teenage pregnancies as well.

“No child should go through the trauma of abortion on their own. It is imperative that parents are involved and the Police notified where the pregnancy is the result of abuse.

“This is the same kind of PC-madness that keeps parents in the dark when their children are raped and it has to stop,” says Ms Collins

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