The Kieft family in Taranaki is on a mission to change the law after their daughter revealed she had an abortion without their knowledge at 15 years old. They want the law to allow parents to be notified, however, Greens MP Marama Davidson says the final decision to terminate lies with the young lady and confidentiality is paramount.
By New Zealand law, girls 16-years old and under can get an abortion without notifying their parents.
Davidson says, “I'm very clear that confidentiality is important for young people to be able to access the health services that they need especially the young ones they need to feel safe. I'm clear that the final decision for termination and any health procedure needs to stay with that young person.”
However, the Kieft family says parents should be notified after it was revealed their daughter got an abortion when she was 15-years old.
Mother, Hillary Kieft says, “This law needs to change, parents need to be informed they need to be informed so that they can support their daughter through this and after whatever happens. As long as someone is there to support them so that we don’t see the suicide rate going up.”
Ariana Kieft who went through the ordeal says, “I was promised counselling and everything else under the sun but when we got to that stage I was left standing with depression, anxiety, insecurities, numerous suicide attempts that I'm not proud of, but that is just what teenage abortions bring to the table.”
Davidson herself, fell pregnant when she was 17-years old and decided to get the baby aborted.
Davidson says, “I needed to be able to make that decision for myself as a teenager and what helped me to approach the support services that I needed was having full privacy protected and knowing I was free to tell who I wanted to talk to.”
Figures received through the Official Information Act show that 318 girls under the age of 16 had abortions in 2014, with some as young as 11 years old.
Mrs Kieft says, “I’m gonna keep fighting, I’m bound even when I went to select committee government, I'm bound I will fight this all the way, I think a lot of it is to educate people on this issue and to just rally the support.”
After having their petition thrown out during the Select Committee process, the family has lodged an official complaint with Justice and Electoral Committee when incorrect data was used during the hearing.