New Zealand’s Lack of Parental Notification for Abortion is Child Abuse

International   |   Ken Orr   |   May 6, 2015   |   9:34AM   |   Wellington, New Zealand

Right to Life is opposed to school counsellors and members of the Family Planning Association smuggling young girls under the age of 16 years of age out of school for a secret abortion. In doing so they may be hiding statutory rape or incest.

This is an appalling violation of parental rights and a breach of trust. It is a sad irony that a school requires the written consent of the parents for permission to attend a school trip or to be given an aspirin, yet may smuggle her away for an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or consent.

Right to Life fully supports parents and has been lobbying Parliament since 1977 for the right of parents to be notified of an abortion on a girl under the age of 16 years of age, as a prelude to the legal recognition of the right of parents to withhold consent.

To deny parents the opportunity to be informed of an abortion on a daughter under the age of 16, risks or perpetuates estrangement or alienation from the child when she is in the greatest need of parental guidance and support. It denies all dignity to the family.

An abortion constitutes an assault on the body of a young and vulnerable young girl; it is also a lethal attack on a helpless and defenceless unborn child. Young girls facing the trauma of an unplanned pregnancy have a right to the love and protection of their families. The unborn child is also a member of the family, it has an inalienable right to life and has a fundamental right to the love and protection of the girl’s parents; they are, in fact, the child’s grandparents.



Public opinion polls conducted in New Zealand have consistently revealed 80 per cent support for parental notification. There are 38 States in the United States that have parental consent or parental notification laws. A total of 21 States have parental consent laws,  12 that have parental notification laws and 5 States require both parental notification and consent. Many of the States require the written consent of both parents; the age of consent is 18 years of age. The parental consent and notification laws have resulted in a decline in teenage pregnancies and a15 per cent decline in teenage abortions.


It is time that the government listened to the people and amended the Care of Children Act 2004 to provide for parental notification. Ultimately, only parental consent laws will give proper recognition to the rights of families. Note: Ken Orr is the spokesman for Right to Life of New Zealand.