Why Parents should be informed of the risks to their daughter
I have had the distressing experience of parents ringing to vent their outrage on finding that their under 16-year old daughter has had a secret abortion.
They are incredulous that this can happen without them being notified beforehand. In the case of a school counsellor, they want to know what are their rights and what redress is available.
I have to tell them that the Guardianship Act protects those involved and upholds the girl’s right to confidentiality. In these cases, the parents have no rights themselves.
I suggested that the parents write to the school counsellor and express their feelings. It might help them get some of the anger off their chests.
In every case, the parents said that whilst they would have been initially upset at learning that their daughter was pregnant, they would have rallied and provided love and support to help her through the pregnancy.
Please bear in mind that in pre-abortion counselling, the alternative of Open Adoption is never mentioned. Open Adoption is where a couple wanting to adopt, are introduced to the birth mother, who has the opportunity to choose the parents. She gifts her baby to them and is able to keep in touch as her child grows.
Information on Open Adoptions can be sourced at the website www.adoptionoption.org.nz
Backgrounder on the move to bring in Parental Notification in 2004
In 2004, the Care of Children Bill was to be debated in Parliament. National MP Judith Collins sought a law change to make it mandatory for doctors to tell parents if their daughter under 16 sought an abortion.
On September 29th, 2004, the NZ Herald published the results of a Herald DigiPoll survey that showed that 71.1% of those surveyed supported parental notification.
When asked if the law should require mandatory notification, the support dropped to 60.7%.
The Medical Association chairwoman Dr Tricia Briscoe played a leading role in lobbying MPs and rallying the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners to oppose Judith Collins’s amendment.
The then Prime Minister Helen Clark was known to be implacably opposed to parental notification. She refused to allow her MPs a conscience vote, knowing that a number supported the Collins amendment.
When it came to voting, the amendment was lost and the status quo remains.
Mr Bernard Moran,
Voice For Life Inc