Why Parents should be informed of the risks to their daughter

by Bernard Moran, Voice for Life National President

03B66050 (1)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

What is Parental Notification about?

Under the current Care of Children Act, a minor can be referred for an abortion by a school counsellor, or a doctor, without the parents being informed.

In May 2011, the Sunday Star Times ran a leading story entitled “Schools arrange secret abortions. Schools are helping teenage girls keep abortions secret from their parents.”

NZ Herald columnist Tapu Misa in 2004 wrote:

“As the law stands, my 14-year old who finds it difficult to decide what to have for breakfast could choose to have an abortion without my permission, much less my knowledge.’

“Her right to privacy, even as a frightened, vulnerable 14-year-old, would be respected over my right to know and decide what was best for her.”

In 2004, when MP Judith Collins proposed a law change requiring that doctors tell parents if a daughter aged under 16 is seeking an abortion, a NZ Herald Digi Poll showed 71% support for parental notification.

close up of woman hands hiding pregnancy test from man

A teenage abortion story

Kiwi mum Hillary courageously shares her story about how a secret underage abortion caused great harm to their family and almost cost them their precious daughter.

Hillary also talks about her own abortion experience, and how she had hoped to spare her own children from that same pain.

Hillary never wants what happened to her daughter and to her, to happen to any other parent. She has now set up a website to bring about change, hillaryslaw.org.nz

If you’re concerned about parental notification on such a sensitive issue, support Voice for Life today: become a member or donate.

Video courtesy of lifetv.net.nz

RESEARCH: Parental Notification and Reduced Suicide Levels

To read original article, click here.

A study by Joseph Sabia and Daniel Rees, researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Colorado, Denver, has found that States in the USA which have parental notification laws, also see a drop in the suicide rate of girls ages 15 through 17.
To conduct their study, the researchers use Poisson estimates on state-level data on 15- through 17-year-old female suicides during the years 1987-2003.

02H99823After various other tests for robustness, the researchers conclude that

“the adoption of a parental involvement law is associated with an 11%-21% decrease in the number of 15- through 17-year-old females who commit suicide.”

No such association exists for males of the same age group.

The researchers also noted that the impact of a parental notification law has the most effect in the year after its enactment, possibly due to media coverage and heightened awareness of the new policy.

This study focused solely on the measurable test of suicide rates; so it seems reasonable to suggest that parental notification laws save many more girls from severe psychological distress, even if that distress does not end ultimately in the ending of life.

(Source: Bryce J. Christensen and Nicole M. King, “New Research,” The Family in America, Summer 2013, Vol. 27 Number 3. Study: Joseph J. Sabia and Daniel I. Rees, “The Effect of Parental Involvement Laws on Youth Suicide,” Economic Inquiry 51.1 [2013]: 620-636.)