PM Ignoring Strong Calls for Parental Notification

Family First Media Release 3 December 2010
Family First NZ is disappointed by comments made by Prime Minister John Key on the web chat this week that there would be no changes to the parental notification laws. 

In response to a question as to whether the National government would address the position of girls having an abortion without their parents’ knowledge or consent, Mr Key responded that there were no proposed changes to the law but that they ‘encouraged’ parental engagement. 

“Unfortunately this response is out of step with the wishes of NZ’ers. A recent poll of 1,000 people found that four out of five people supported parental notification laws requiring parents to always be informed before-hand if their daughter who is under 16 is pregnant and wants to have an abortion. ‘Encouragement’ is not sufficient,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. 

“This was a very strong response with a clear message and a rebuke to the politicians in 2004 who chose to exclude parents from this process when debating the provision in the Care of Children Bill.”  

According to the Care of Children Act 2004, access to abortion is not restricted on grounds of age. Section 38 of the Act says that a girl of any age can give consent to an abortion and that consent operates as if it were given by her parents. Therefore, her parents need never know that their daughter is having such a procedure. Family First is aware of young girls being written to directly asking them to make an appointment to have the Gardasil vaccine.  

“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, have a vaccine, or have a surgical abortion,” says Mr McCoskrie.  

Family First is asking for the law to be amended to allow for parental notification in all cases of medical advice, prescriptions and procedures unless it can be proved to a family court that it would place the child at extreme risk. 

“Parental notification laws in Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and other US states have seen a drop in both the pregnancy rate and the teen abortion rate – a win-win situation for all concerned. This is especially relevant when almost 80 teenagers a week have an abortion in NZ,” says Mr McCoskrie.


6 comments for “PM Ignoring Strong Calls for Parental Notification

  1. 5 December 2010 at 12:50 pm

    It’s a serious issue. There might be a serious medical reason why an abortion (or the pill) could be a bad idea for a child, but most parents would assume that *they* acting for their child’s health. And so they should – what child understands the full implication of medical information?

    I recall a child died a few years back from being prescribed the pill because the parent didn’t know and the child didn’t know her family medical history.

  2. Karen Raaymakers
    8 December 2010 at 12:57 am

    I think it is time for pro-family people to vote with our feet. National thinks they have the pro-life vote, because we don’t want Labour, but as long as they cater to the pro-aborts, why the hell should we vote for them? Better the devil you know…

  3. Karen
    8 December 2010 at 1:37 am

    National Party catering to the Pro-aborts?
    Animal Farm- no difference between National and Labour!
    Where to now????

  4. BJ
    8 December 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I interpret this as meaning, :So long as parental notification has “ been encouraged” the PM is Ok if his daughter Stephie, At 17, has an abortion without him or his wife being notified?

    I sense a TUI Advert on the horizon.

  5. Joyful Heart
    9 December 2010 at 12:12 pm

    That’s right BJ, another case of political doublemindedness.
    John Key is just another politician who makes all kinds of promises before election day to listen to the people, and then as soon as he is in power he does his own thing.
    Sad but true.

  6. RussF
    10 December 2010 at 2:27 pm

    SHAME on you John Key. Not only are you pandering to UN and other liberal international lobby groups on such issues as family rights and abortion (the only explanation possible for your political u-turns) but you have surely condemned your National Government to a one-term hold on the Treasury benches. Unless you do an immediate U-turn in support of parental rights to parent and start enforcing the legal process of abortion candidates being fully counselled on post abortion mental disease and equally affirming birth and adoption options, YOU have certainly lost my party vote! Deceitfulness and anti-life policies are evil and most definitely NOT of a truthful and loving creator God!

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