Topic: Health

Breaking her silence to change the law

By Native Affairs , Renee Kahukura-Iosefa
  • North Island: West Coast

Ariana Kieft was 15 years old when she chose to have an abortion and was taken by her school nurse to have the procedure done; she kept this secret from her parents. 

She says, “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”.

The trauma sparked Ariana’s parents to petition the government to change the law to enable parents the right to be notified if their underage child chooses to have an abortion. 

Tonight on Native Affairs Ariana speaks for the first time about her ordeal and why she will now stand alongside her mother Hillary Kieft to lobby government for change.

“We even see other families going through this and are left alone left, in the dark, and are left with their daughter going through this with no help with no support”.

In April last year the Parliamentary Electoral and Justice Committee heard the petition from the Kieft family; however, last month their crusade for a law change was denied.

A document obtained through the Official Information Act shows on average every year there are 280 abortions performed on girls under the age of 15.

Around 70 girls don’t tell their parents.

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