Media Release 3 June 2015
A campaign has been launched seeking changes to the parental notification law when a teenage daughter becomes pregnant.
Dubbed “Hillary’s Law”, it is based on my experience as a mum which no other parent should have to experience. My 15 year old daughter was sneaked off for an abortion by the community health nurse and with the permission of the school. I was never informed. Our daughter changed after that event and our life as a family was turned upside down. She subsequently tried to take her own life. It was then that our daughter told us why the health nurse had brought her home a year ago. The nurse had not taken her to a counselling appointment; instead she picked our daughter up from school and took her to an abortion clinic.
Society, the law and government agencies expect parents to take responsibilities for the behaviours of their children. We do this across government agencies such as health, education, welfare, and justice, yet when it comes to abortion, parents can be locked out of the process and still be left to clean up the mess left behind. Frequently they only get to hear of the procedure when they are dealing with a distraught child who is displaying psychological trauma and acting out in anti-social behaviours such as self-harm or abusive and disorderly or criminal behaviours.
My experience is not the only one of its kind that has happened. I am being contacted by more and more families who have experienced similar circumstances.
The petition asks for Parliament to pass legislation that allows for a parent of a girl under the age of 16 years to be informed if she has a pregnancy confirmed and before she is referred for any resulting medical procedure; and that the young girl be fully informed as to procedure, possible repercussions and after-effects before any medical procedure is undertaken.
A petition has been presented to Parliament by Wanganui MP Chester Borrows and will be considered by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.
The website is www.hillaryslaw.org.nz