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Abortion clause is child abuse

Media Release
Maxim Institute
26 November 2003

Abortion clause is child abuse

Permitting a girl as young as 11 to have an abortion without her parents’ knowledge is a form of child abuse, Maxim Institute told a select committee hearing today.

The provision is contained in Section 37 of the Care of Children Bill.

Maxim researcher John McNeil told the hearing into the Bill that there is growing evidence worldwide that abortion has significant health risks, at least as great as those which are now being recognised in the case of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

“We are asking a child to make a decision about a medical procedure which can have profoundly adverse effects, when she is not of sufficient maturity to do so, even if she is advised of the possible consequences.”

The situation is made even worse by the Privacy Act. Mr McNeil said Maxim was aware of a case where a young high school girl told the school counsellor of her pregnancy. The counsellor whipped her off for an abortion, and then allowed the girl to attend a gymnasium session in PE the same afternoon.

“The PE teacher was furious when she finally found out, but the counsellor said the girl’s right to privacy came first,” Mr McNeil said. “This is madness, when the girl could have suffered serious harm.

“If she had, the parents would have probably been kept in the dark, while still being held responsible for her care.

“Not only that, but men who are getting under-age girls pregnant are often getting off scot-free, because of the girl’s ‘right’ to privacy.”



Mr McNeil says the conflict has come about because of a confusion over human rights. In the womb, the rights of the mother trumps the rights of the child. At puberty, the rights of the child trumps the rights of the mother, by state decree. The question has to be asked, on what basis has this been decided?

“I am a parent, and my responsibilities to my child are significantly more foundational than either my rights or my child’s rights. When we start defining parent/child relationships primarily in terms of rights, we undermine the natural dynamics between parent and child.

“It appears that more and more, the child is becoming the property of the state, which is taking away the parent’s authority.”


ENDS

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