Thursday, September 3, 2015
A petition to Parliament, seeking to change the current law to require parental notification where a person under-16 seeks an abortion, has opened up a debate about the rights of the young person and their parents/guardians/whanau.
Family Planning believes the following in relation to abortion for under-16s.
- We support the current law which allows young people to make autonomous and confidential decisions regarding their reproductive decisions, including abortion.
- We recognise the evolving capacity of the young person, while also believing doctors are empowered to use their own medical judgment regarding the competency of each patient to provide informed consent.
- We promote and encourage young people to talk to a parent, guardian or whanau regarding their reproductive decisions.
- However, we do recognise that parental involvement is not always recommended, particularly in situations of physical or emotional violence, and we trust young people to determine their own safety.
- We promote the findings of peer-reviewed, internationally recognised and published clinical studies which have confirmed that there are no long-term medical, physical or mental risks associated with abortion.
- We believe it sets a dangerous precedent to make an arbitrary distinction between abortion and other reproductive health decisions, like contraception, continuing a pregnancy or adoption, where no parental involvement is required.
Learn more about abortion and young people in our fact sheet.
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