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Parental notification for under 16s

Thursday, September 3, 2015

National News

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.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.