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We Oppose Attacks on the Medical Confidentiality

We Oppose Attacks on the Medical Confidentiality of Competent Minors

"The Christian Right is really responsible for New Zealand's high rate of adolescent pregnancies, the associated health risks of teenage pregnancies, any sexually transmitted disease epidemics, and teenage abortions." Craig Young, ALRANZ Research Officer said today.

"During the seventies, the Muldoon administration pandered to organisations like the Concerned Parents Association and their cronies. As a result, we saw an entire generation of New Zealanders who did not receive messages about rights, responsibilities and reproductive and sexual health. That generation has had its own offspring, and passed on confused messages to them."

Mr.Young said ALRANZ had no position on condoms in schools, but the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand had always supported an integrated and balanced approach to reproductive and sexual health. In 1997, the Abortion Supervisory Committee had said that only fifty percent of high schools provided reproductive and sexual health instruction to their students, however.

"Despite the efforts of the Family Planning Association, AIDS Foundation, and other community- based organisations, we still have the Christian Heritage Party preaching its code of policing the conduct of adolescents."

"In most cases, parents and children do have open communication channels available to them. However, the Christian Heritage Party is attacking the rights of competent minors who may need to escape violent families and sexual abuse through confidential medical consultation. In the United States, these attacks on the medical confidentiality of competent minors has led to increased presentation with undiagnosed STDs, adolescent risk of HIV/AIDS, and other alarming statistics. These young people need to be defended, and the Christian Heritage Party does not seem to care about that."

Contact: Craig Young Research Officer National ALRANZ ph 06 3569099 ext 7750

Dr. Margaret Sparrow President National ALRANZ ph 04 4759886

National ALRANZ PO Box 28008 Wellington

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