Stuff co.nz 17 September 2015
A Taranaki mother’s fight for parents to be told if their daughter is having an abortion isn’t supported by Family Planning.
There are fears making it mandatory will breach all confidentiality between a young woman and health professionals trying to help.
Hillary Kieft, of Stratford, has presented a petition to Parliament calling for abortion law changes that will make it mandatory for parents of a child under the age of 16 to be told before their daughter has an abortion.
Kieft’s own daughter, who was 15 at the time, was taken for an abortion in Hawera in 2010 that was arranged by her school and it wasn’t until a year later when she attempted suicide that Kieft found out what her daughter had been through.
On Thursday Family Planning were called to the Justice and Electoral select committee to make a submission on the petition, which they’re strongly opposed to because of the privacy and confidentiality breaches it would involve.
Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond said the law as it stands is outdated and needs fixing but that doesn’t extend to making parent notification for under-16s mandatory or compulsory post-abortion counselling as mooted by Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.
“We wouldn’t support mandatory counselling because a lot of people are happy with the decision they’ve made. There’s little benefit to forced counselling”.
But Edmond admitted abortions were part of a “broken system” as they currently fell under justice rather than the Ministry of Health.