Pregnant teens deserve privacy and the SST needs a remedial journalism class

As a friend tweeted, remember the time I got trashed because abortion was a dead issue and no one really cared about it and our laws weren’t going to change any time soon so why didn’t I get back into the kitchen where I belonged?

Oh look.

Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Judith Collins thinks young pregnant people’s wishes are less important than enforcing their parents’ ownership rights, given her support of similar provisions during the 2004 Care of Children bill debate, nor that a finance minister of Catholic faith agrees.

But I have to give props to Dr Paul Hutchison for acknowledging, even in the most tempered terms, that this isn’t actually an automatic-moral-outrage issue:

We have to tread lightly, doing everything possible to have the parents involved. But having worked in places like National Women’s, where I saw women who had been beaten by their families because of an unknown pregnancy, that’s why the law is there

The alternative proposed, that young pregnant people should be able to see a judge in chambers within 24 hours, sounds fine and fucking dandy if you’ve got privilege shining out your ass.  What if the judge is an asshat and agrees with Collins and English that you should be forced to tell your parents unless you have written documentation to establish they’ll beat you?  What if the judge is a douchewad who believes in bullshit ideas like only “forcible” rape really counting??  What if you live in godforsaken Gore and the only judge willing to do teen abortion decisions is in fucking Rangiora but will only see you on a Wednesday? (Oh look, I’m drawing on the actual current abortion situation for some pregnant people).  What if your abusive parents demand to know where you’ve been?  I’m sure they’d react really well because obviously teenagers only refuse to tell their parents because they’re just “mental“.

What if we pass this retrograde bullshit and within two weeks the Sunday Star Fucktimes decides to run another panic-mongering article about School Counsellors Arranging Secret Judge Visits?

Because what this issue comes down to is some parents thinking they have every right to control every moment of their children’s lives.  The specific current story is about a parent who did find out and insists she would have been totally supportive of her child getting an abortion, but is outraged because she didn’t get to find out before the fact and because she didn’t get to exercise control in granting that “support”.

It is not about health.  It is not about supporting teenagers through a difficult time.  It is about control.   Scary, patriarchal control.

And Sunday Star-Times? Hire a fucking journalist with some basic ethics and numeracy, would you?  Because that shit scare-statistic at the bottom about How Many Teens Had Abortions!!! would be a lot less damaging to your rep as a publication with integrity if you noted that all the abortions performed on over-16-year-olds wouldn’t require parental consent under this shit law anyway.

Of course it would also make the Big Scary Number a lot smaller, and that would ruin the panic-mongering, wouldn’t it?

More awesome rage from Boganette.


  1. Boganette

    Yes, yes, yes to all of this. I can’t believe this whole fucking thing. It’s such ridiculous, pointless hysteria. The actual young women involved (you know, the pregnant ones, those ones) are just completely not even important to this whole story. Collins, English, that idiot fucking journo, the SST editorial team just don’t even *see* these young women. They don’t exist.

    Collins and English are totally anti-choice anyway so to them this is just less baby-killing. They’re just disguising it. And seriously, SST is just printing anti-choice propaganda. Both articles were shitty as fuck. Like, oh wait, we better tack on a pro-choice person at the end…ugggh….And seriously that pointless stat at the end? EXPLOSION OF RAGE.

    FUCK THAT SHIT (thanks for the linky love).

    • Good Gravey

      Damn straight! The supposed aim is to restore parental responsibility and control.

      Who gives a shit about the kids, we’ll just let parents do what the fuck they want.

      Words fail.

  2. Stef

    Yup I give some mad props for Hutchison on that comment. What people don’t realize is that if this law goes through teenagers will die because of it and more will drop out of schooling due to having kids while the still kids.

  3. Good Gravey

    As I have commented elsewhere, Collins’ involvement is bizarre. Her portfolios have nothing to do with the issue (so why does the article suggest they do?) and English certainly has nothing to do with it.

    The fact that our politicians are responding to such a shit article that really doesn’t say anything of value just goes to their fucking character.

    As has been said many times through this debate (at least by those of us with some sense), if the issue is about parental notification, we should be asking first and foremost **why** a child cannot trust her parents enough to go to them with their problems.

    Rather than placing even greater trauma on children, they should be putting their energies into resolving the obvious conflict that exists in the first place.

    The statistic that has not been shown is the number of under-16 year olds who had abortions – and their parents knew about it. How many happen right now **with** parental consent?

  4. Ally

    I was pleasantly surprised by Hutchison’s comment! This whole thing makes me feel so fucking enraged. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO MAKE A 14YO HAVE A BABY SHE DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE???? Is there something wrong with me that I genuinely can not comprehend this?

    • QoT

      Ah, your brain appears to be missing the Assume Pregnancy Is Always A Divine Blessing And Therefore Will All Turn Out Fine programming upgrade. Mine too!

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