In New Zealand, your minor child can have an abortion behind your back

That’s been the case for some time. MPs in the Law and Order Select Committee have, however, rejected the request to tweak the law and make it mandatory for parents to be informed if their 14-year-old had an abortion.

Taranaki mother Hillary Kieft took a petition to parliament asking for a law change so parents have the right to know if their daughter, if she’s under the age of 16, is pregnant before she is referred for an abortion.

But the majority of MPs on parliament’s justice and electoral committee have backed keeping the law as it is, saying compulsory parental notification could result in some young women being forced into making a decision that’s against their own wishes.

“Ideally, and in most cases, a child will tell her parents so they can support her through the process,” the committee said in its report.

“However, if a child has the capacity to consent to an kabortion but does not wish to tell her parents she is pregnant, this wish should be respected.”

It’s absurd. Parents get dragged into schools several times a year to be told all about the children’s progress. If they do wrong or cause damage, parents are responsible for fixing their children’s problems. But once a teenage daughter wants to have an abortion, the State denies the parents, who have full responsibility for the outcome, any say. 

The committee heard that only about 60 abortion procedures a year are performed on young women under the age of 16, and of those, fewer than 10 decide not to tell their parent or caregiver.

However, the committee has recommended there be greater oversight and monitoring of the post-procedure care – like counselling – that is offered to, and taken up by, young women.

“We are concerned that there does not seem to be specific responsibility to ensure the delivery of post-procedure care of young people who undergo abortions,” the report said.

“We note that part of the problem comes from a young person refusing counselling, as is their right, but we would like to see proactive follow-up care for those identified as being at risk, particularly those without the support of their family or a trusted adult.”

NZ First and the Maori Party disagreed with the conclusions of the majority of the select committee.

Ms Kieft’s petition, which had seven signatures, was presented to parliament by National MP Chester Borrows.

Once again National go with the Greens and Labour against their own party values and, once again, NZ First are able to take over the middle ground.


– Sarah Robson, NZN via Yahoo! News

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