Judith Collins backs action on secret teen abortions

Sunday Star Times 22/05/2011
Police Minister Judith Collins has pledged to support a call for laws to prevent girls under 16 having abortions without their parents being told. Collins said she would support a private member’s bill requiring parents to be involved before a termination could take place. She could not introduce it herself, because ministers can only introduce legislation related to their own portfolios, but her stand comes after the Sunday Star-Times revealed a mother’s anger that a school counsellor arranged an abortion for her teenage daughter.

While in opposition in 2004, Collins proposed the Care of Children Act be amended to make parental notification mandatory for girls under 16. The act allows a female of any age to consent to an abortion. Collins proposed that if a girl objected to parental notification, a doctor would contact the district court to arrange an appointment for the girl to see a judge in chambers within 24 hours. Finance Minister Bill English supported the amendment. “If a school doctor wants to give a pupil a Panadol, they have to tell parents … It is time to swing the pendulum back in favour of parents,” he said then. “Where there are significant events affecting children, and real risks to their welfare, parents should be involved. “The idea that the law allows your 12 to 14-year-old daughter to have an abortion on her own and go back to school is repugnant.”
No teen should be forced to have a baby these days
Deborah Coddington Herald on Sunday
Teens’ privacy always comes first, say counsellors
Sunday Star Times
Under fire for keeping abortions secret from parents, school counsellors say confidentiality has to come first.

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