Abortion: Rights groups weigh in on teen pregnancy

NZ Herald 4 June 2015
A petition seeking a law change that would require parents to be informed before their daughter has an abortion is unnecessary and potentially dangerous, says an abortion rights advocate.

Abortion Law Reform New Zealand spokeswoman Annabel Henderson Morell said most teenagers already told their families when they needed an abortion, and those who did not did so for their own wellbeing.

“Almost always it’s because they know that would lead to a situation of coercion where they would be forced to carry through with a pregnancy they don’t want to have,” she said.

“There’s also horrible instances of family violence, incest or sexual abuse.”

Bob McCoskrie, director of conservative lobby group Family First NZ, said he would support a law change.

“While a parent has to sign a letter for their daughter to go on a school trip to the zoo or to play in the netball team, they are totally excluded from any knowledge or granting of permission for that same child to have a surgical abortion.

“It begs the question – what is so unique about abortion procedures which allows for the prohibition of parental consent?”

Mr McCoskrie said younger teenagers were less able to make the decision to have an abortion on their own.

“A recent research paper argued that most female adolescents only start to acquire sufficient autonomous capacity from the age of 14 years and as such the legislative wording of the current law is problematic and arguably careless.”
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11459930

Family First want major concerns over young pregnant girls reviewed
Maori Television 4 June 2015
According to the Care of Children Act 2004, a girl of any age can give consent to an abortion.

Now, Family First NZ is calling on politicians to look at major concerns to ensure young pregnant girls in a crisis situation receive the right family support and care.

National Director of Family First NZ Bob McCroskie says parents are totally excluded from any knowledge or granting of permission for their child to be put on the pill or have a surgical abortion.

Bob McCroskie says “This all effectively means that while a parent has to sign a letter for their daughter to go on a school trip to the zoo or to play in the netball team, they are totally excluded from any knowledge or granting of permission for that same child to be put on the pill or have a surgical abortion. It begs the question – what is so unique about abortion procedures which allows for the prohibition of parental consent?”
https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/politics/family-first-want-major-concerns-over-young-pregnant-girls-reviewed

Lobby group call for law change
SunLive 4 June 2015
Lobby group Family First NZ have called for a policy change which would see parents notified immediately if their daughter has an abortion.

A petition is being presented to Parliament on behalf of a Stratford mother, whose teenaged daughter attempted suicide after a secret abortion was organised by a local school. Her story was featured on TVNZ’s Seven Sharp.

According to the Care of Children Act 2004, a girl of any age can give consent to an abortion and that consent operates as if it were given by her parents.

The Act effectively means parents need never know that their daughter has had such a procedure. It is the only medical procedure where parents can be ‘kept in the dark’.

“This means that while a parent has to sign a letter for their daughter to go on a school trip to the zoo or to play in the netball team, they are totally excluded from any knowledge or granting of permission for that same child to be put on the pill or have a surgical abortion,” says Family First NZ national director Bob McCoskrie.

“It begs the question – what is so unique about abortion procedures which allows for the prohibition of parental consent?”

Bob says a recent research paper argued that most female adolescents only start to acquire sufficient autonomous capacity from the age of 14 years, and as such, the legislative wording of the current law is problematic and arguably careless.

He says the current law is also out of step with the wishes of most New Zealanders.

A 2010 independent poll of 1,000 people by Curia Market Research found that four out of five people supported parental notification laws.

Bob adds: “In a similar independent poll in 2012, teens (aged 15-21) were asked: ‘Provided it won’t put the girl in physical danger, should parents be told if their school-aged daughter is pregnant and considering getting an abortion?

“Almost two out of three young respondents thought the parents should be told, while 34 per cent disagreed.”
http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/101659-lobby-group-call-law-change.html