School officials arrange for secret abortions

As hard as it is to imagine, a mother of a sixteen year old girl has found out that her daughter's school counsellor arranged for her to have an abortion without the parent's knowledge.

The mother, a Christ Church New Zealand resident, only found out about the abortion four days after the fact.

After suspecting that something was wrong with her daughter, she confronted her friends who admitted that the school's counsellor had arranged for the abortion.

From the story:

Helen, not her real name, found out about the termination four days after it had happened. "I was horrified. Horrified that she'd had to go through that on her own, and horrified her friends and counsellors had felt that she shouldn't talk to us," she said. ...

Helen said teachers could discuss how a student was doing in school or phone parents when their child misbehaved, but would then keep life-changing situations such as abortions secret.

Her daughter had since told her the counsellor "wasn't very forthcoming" with advice. The counsellor did ask the girl if she had talked to her parents, but never pursued it.

Helen said follow-up counselling for her daughter was "nonexistent". ...

Helen has been too upset to approach the school. "Afterwards I was too wild, and I probably still am."

Another mother who was worried for her 15-year-old daughter "hit a brick wall" when she approached the school, and eventually discovered it was a friend of her daughter's who had undergone an abortion. "But I went through the horror of knowing that under the legislation, they did not need to say anything to me."

One teacher told the Sunday Star-Times she had seen parents become "absolutely livid" after finding out they had been kept out of abortion decisions.

She knew of a Year 13 student who had had two abortions – one with her parents' knowledge, and one without. ...

This is the kind of thing that happens when you have a "privacy law" that over-rules the rights of parents...including their right to be informed about (much less have authority over) their children.

Christchurch lawyer Kathryn Dalziel, who wrote Privacy In Schools: A guide to the Privacy Act for principals, teachers and boards of trustees, said students who saw counsellors were promised confidentiality, and the service was bound by the Health Privacy Code.

"When it comes to contraception and abortion, they [counsellors] would need the consent of the person before they could share information with a parent or the school," she said. ...

Girls had to see a doctor for tests, scans and see two certifying consultants before they could have an abortion. The consultants explained the health risks and the girl had to sign a form saying she understood and consented. ...

Statistics New Zealand figures show that 3950 11- to 19-year-olds had induced abortions in 2009. Of those, 79 were aged between 11 and 14. Under section 38 of the Care of Children Act 2004, a female of any age can consent to an abortion. In 2004, then opposition MP Judith Collins put forward an amendment to prevent girls under 16 from having an abortion without their parents' knowledge. The amendment was voted down. Parents are legally responsible for their offspring until the children turn 18 or marry, enter into a civil union, or a de facto relationship with their parents' permission.

It would seem to be difficult to be "legally responsible" for children that have a legal "privacy" right to consent to medical procedures like abortion without the knowledge (or approval) of the legally responsible parents.

Just another step towards the liberal dream of the "liberation" of children from "parental despotism"...setting family members more at odds with themselves.

 

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