WELLINGTON, September 30, 2004 ( ) – A new poll has backed up New Zealand MP Judith Collins’ parental notification amendment into a pending bill for child protection.

A Herald-DigiPoll survey showed broad support for legislation that would require a doctor to inform parents of any underage girl seeking an abortion. The amendment, which would apply only to girls under 16, comes with an exception that would allow a girl from an abusive environment to abort her child without parental notification. However, the Herald-DigiPoll has shown that the New Zealand public wants families to be involved in potentially life-threatening medical decisions of their children. 71.1 of poll respondents thought the doctor should inform parents and 60.7 thought that the law should make it mandatory.  The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the New Zealand Medical Association New Zealand, in addition to the Family Planning Association, have opposed the amendment with the classic abortion advocates’ claim that if parents must be notified pregnant girls will be driven to unsafe ‘backstreet’ or self-induced abortion.

National Party leader, Don Brash, has said that he supports the amendment however, and even some Labour Party MP’s said that they would vote in favour if allowed to by the party. Brash said the National Party’s caucus was “overwhelmingly” in support of a law change and that he would be casting his vote in favour of it.  Collins, the National Party’s Health and Family spokesperson, wrote in a column that when the ‘abuse’ clause is taken into account, “the support for the amendment is even higher.” Collins wrote that unlike Benson-Pope, “I don’t think that an 11 year old girl who is pregnant is suddenly ‘a woman.’” She says, “These are little girls we are talking about. Little girls who are clearly in particularly vulnerable situations and desperately in need of love and support from their own parents, not someone who gets paid to care by the hour.”

Read the full column by Judith Collins:   Read previous coverage:


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