Mum's petition against secret abortions for teens under 16 rejected by MPs

TVNZ One News 7 July 2016
MPs have rejected a call to change the law to prevent under-16s undergoing secret abortions.
Taranaki mum Hillary Kieft presented a petition to Parliament’s justice and electoral commission last year.

Her 15-year-old daughter’s abortion was arranged by her school in 2010.
A report from the committee says about 60 procedures a year are performed on under-16s, and less than 10 don’t tell their parents or caregiver.
The ‘best-case’ scenario is that patients have the full support of their parents – but the right not to should remain, the committee found.
MPs recommended some changes such as better collection of data on how many teens take up counselling services, increased oversight by the Abortion Supervisory Committee and mandatory after care check-ups with under-16s.
“When renewing or certifying a consultant, the Abortion Supervisory Committee must emphasise the consultant’s responsibilities around post-procedure care and the protection of children under-16 who have an abortion procedure,” the report added.
The Maori Party disagreed with the findings – and wants the law change, unless a doctor believes there is a health risk.
MPs turn down petition seeking abortion law change
NewsTalk ZB 7 July 2016
A committee of MPs has turned down a request to change the law so parents must be told if a daughter aged under 16 was referred for an abortion, but recommended strengthening post-abortion care and counselling.
A petition asking for the law to be changed to require parental notification for abortions of under 16-year-olds was organised by Stratford mother Hillary Kieft, whose 15-year-old daughter had an abortion without the parents knowing. Mrs Kieft told the justice and electoral select committee it was not until after she attempted suicide a year later in 2010 that the Kiefts learned their daughter’s boarding school arranged for the procedure through a family planning clinic and no post-abortion support was offered.
NZ First and the Maori party had a minority view, saying parents should be informed unless a health professional decided there was a risk of harm to the child in disclosing it.
However, family first director Bob McCroskie said it was ludicrous parents had to give permission for school trips but were kept in the dark if their daughter was having an abortion. He believed it was against the wishes of most parents and criticised the committee for refusing to hear submissions from parent or family groups such as Family First and instead relying only on medical and privacy experts.
MPs reject calls to prevent U16s having abortions without parents being informed
Stuff 7 July 2016
Parliament has rejected a petition calling for it to be made compulsory that parents be informed if their teenager was to have an abortion.
Parliament’s Justice and Electoral select committee has released its report into the petition of Hillary Kieft and six others, that it passes legislation to prevent under 16-year-olds having abortions without notifying the parents.
The committee’s decision has been slammed by lobby group Family First, claiming uncited research showed parental notification laws decreased teenage abortions by 15 per cent, and also decreased pregnancies.


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