Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Challenge to PM and GPs over Secret Abortions

17 September 2004

Challenge to PM and GPs over Secret Abortions

In an article entitled “Counselling cuts abortions by 25%” in LIGHT (August 2004) published by The Festival of Light Australia (see special note below), the critical importance of the availability of counselling services to all women who are contemplating an abortion, is highlighted. Such services are also critical to those who have had an abortion, emphasising the fact that an abortion can have a major impact on the spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental and physical well-being of a woman.

In the light of this article and the findings highlighted, the Society challenges the Prime Minister, Ms Helen Clark, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Family Planning Association, the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Medical Association to provide evidence based on published scientific studies, supporting their publicised views that:

It is NOT in the best interests of the vast majority of under-16-year-old pregnant girls seeking an abortion to ALWAYS discuss their pregnancy and their options for dealing with it (including having an abortion), WITH THEIR GUARDIAN(S), in addition to receiving counselling from health professionals, PRIOR TO BEING REFERRED BY THEIR GP TO A CERTIFYING CONSULTANT.

The Society submits that it is almost always in the girl’s best interests to have the matter of an intended abortion disclosed by the GP to the girl’s parents, so that those responsible for the primary care-giving (the parents and NOT the doctor!), can give guidance and support to her. In the tiny minority of cases where health professionals and/or the police consider that disclosure is not in the best interests of the girl, the matter could be resolved in the Family Court as proposed in a recent supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Care of Children Bill.

The PM and all the groups referred to above, strongly oppose this SOP, that includes an amendment to Clause 37 of the Care of Children Bill. The SOP, put forward by National health spokesperson Ms Judith Collins, would make it mandatory for all GPs to disclose to the guardian(s) of all under-16-year-old girls intending to have an abortion, the planned abortion, BEFORE the matter is referred to a certifying consultant. The Society submits that professional counselling services should be made available to the girl prior to the matter being dealt with by a certified consultant and that GPs should make every effort to speak to the girl’s guardian(s) face-to-face, before the matter of an abortion ever proceeds.

The Festival of Light Australia article states:

The Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) has announced that its new program of compulsory counselling and time for reflection for women seeking an abortion has slashed the number of terminations by 25 per cent.

An article in Adelaide’s Sunday Mail (25/7/04, p. 12) said: “The drop in terminations has prompted calls for more comprehensive counselling to ensure women are fully informed of the financial and social support available, their options and the emotional impact of the decision.

“The Australian Medical Association also wants more post-termination counselling, warning that most women face unexpected grief.

“Last year, 584 women made appointments at the WCH for terminations, where counselling is mandatory. The delay saw only 473 turn up for the talk, then only 417 went through with the termination after discussing their options.

“WCH senior social worker Jayne Rickard said women needed to be fully informed of their options. ‘It is their decision and they should not be coerced into it by feeling they have no options,’ she said.”

In contrast to the WCH, the Pregnancy Advisory Centre does most (over 300 per cent) of Adelaide’s abortions and does not insist on counselling beforehand. When the PAC stopped allowing a week’s delay before each abortion in the late 1990s, SA abortion rates rose significantly.

“The 25% drop in abortions at WCH is good news indeed,” said Adelaide GP Dr Tony Turnbull. “And the call for post-abortion counselling indicates that the Australian Medical Association has at last acknowledged the deep grief suffered by many women who terminate their babies.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news