Parents in New Zealand are furious at reports that have surfaced suggesting schools are offering students secret abortions.
The reports came about after one mother found out t her 16 year old daughter’s school counsellor had arranged for the girl to have an abortion without the knowledge of the mother.
She told a local newspaper: “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.”
Another mother, whose own 15 year old daughter had a secret abortion said: “I went through the horror of knowing that under the legislation, they did not need to say anything to me.”
It seems in New Zealand, girls who fall pregnant can if they wish to, legally keep quiet about having an abortion. Patient confidentiality even in children is considered paramount.
This was confirmed by Kathryn Dalziel, a New Zealand lawyer who said: “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.”
As for the children themselves, they genuinely feel they do not know how their parents would react if they were to tell them about getting pregnant; worse deciding to have an abortion. As such, the law allows them to seek advice and help elsewhere. As teachers are generally acting in loco parentis they take matters into their own hands.
One guidance counsellor Helen Bissett told reporters that it was in the interests of the child not to inform the parents. She said it could become an “ethical nightmare” to do so.