The Press 07/07/2010
The number of children having abortions has almost doubled over the past 20 years. The latest statistics have prompted calls for parents to be informed if their daughter is considering an abortion, but health professionals say the move would be “disastrous”. Last year, 79 girls aged from 11 to 14 had abortions. Of those, 68 were 14-year-olds and 13 aged 11 to 13. The latest figure is nearly twice the 43 girls under 14 who had abortions in 1991. While the figures have generally been rising, the peak was in 2005, when 105 girls aged 14 and under had an abortion.
Family First director Bob McCoskrie said it was outrageous that parents had to sign a consent form for their child to go on a school trip to the zoo but could be left in the dark if their 11-year-old was having an abortion. Family First and Prolife New Zealand have been campaigning for parents to have the legal right to be informed if their daughter is considering an abortion. A law change that would have made it mandatory, backed by National MP Judith Collins, was voted down in 2004. McCoskrie said a recent Family First-commissioned poll found 80 per cent of people thought parents should be told if their daughter was pregnant and considering an abortion. He said there was support for the idea within the National Party, but no-one seemed willing to push through a law change. “Abortion is the only procedure or event in a teenager’s life where for no good reason good parents are legally excluded,” he said.