I was heartened to hear MPs soundly reject the National MP Judith Collins’ amendment to the Care of Children Bill, which would require parents of girls under 16 to be notified if their daughter was seeking an abortion.
“Little girls who are clearly in particularly vulnerable situations desperately need love and support from their own parents” Collins wrote in a recent press release. Of course they do. Whether they’re going to get it is another question.
In fairness, Collins’ amendment allowed an ‘out’. If a girl did not want her parents to know, she had to tell her doctor why. Her doctor then had to go before a Family Court judge, and the judge would decide whether the girl’s parents would be told. Not only does this seem completely unworkable, I can't help but shake the inference that the girl is being put on trial.
There can be very good reasons for not wanting your parents to know you’re pregnant. Physical and sexual abuse are the two most obvious examples; more subtle reasons might be a lot harder for a frightened 14 year old to articulate, or unlikely to find favour if you strike the wrong judge at the wrong time.
A friend of mine was raped when she was young. Her parents, strict Catholics, refused to let her take the morning after pill, let alone have an abortion. She now has a daughter, who one day is going to want to know who her father is. She's dreading that day. Collins never addressed this sort of scenario, instead offering up straw men like “What girl wants to tell her Mum that the girl’s friends are experimenting with sex?”
Anyway it’s over for now – 75 MPs saw sense and voted the amendment down. An ever stronger amendment proposed by United Future’s Murray Smith went down in flames, 94-25. Good work.
Listening to John Tamihere being grilled by Sean Plunket on Morning Report yesterday, I’ve got to admit I was disappointed. I’ve been quietly championing JT for some time now. Over numerous interviews I’ve done with him, I’ve always been impressed that John tells it like it is. But yesterday, his refusal to answer any of Sean’s questions directly, God forbid with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, was infuriating. To paraphrase one example (and I stress paraphrase, yesterday’s Morning Report isn’t available on-line for me to offer a more accurate transcript):
“Did you sign the cheques authorising payment of the dodgy invoices?”
“As CEO I often signed cheques for payment of invoices.”
“But did you sign these particular cheques?”
“As CEO I often…”
This sort of obfuscation is what politicians are famous for of course, but to hear question after question receive the same treatment lowered my opinion of Mr Tamihere greatly. Sorry John, but if you want people to believe you’re as innocent as you insist, then stop sounding dodgy as all hell.
Sorry I’ve been a bit remiss in posting these past two weeks, there’s been so much happening news-wise, by the time something’s half-written, it already seems out of date. But thoughts in brief:
Re: Wi Huata (Donna Awatere Huata’s husband) pulling the fingers to the media outside court. Where do you think you are, a Mongrel Mob trial? You’re the one on trial remember buddy; you’re the one accused of stealing money meant to help poor Maori kids learn to read. It’s the public that should be pulling the fingers to you, you ugly thug.
Wi has a history of abusive behaviour, perhaps the Herald photographer should be glad he got off as lightly as he did.
My continuing hope is that Donna is chucked out of Parliament one way or another, before she completes three terms as an MP and gets a cushy taxpayer-funded pension for the rest of her life. If she doesn’t, it’s the one instance I’d support retrospective legislation – the Stop Donna’s Pension Act 2005.
Re: Paul Holmes. I couldn’t possibly comment, but Dog Biting Men (which is consistently proving to be one of the most amusing local blogs around) has an amusing take on contenders to the throne – and I don’t just say this because I’m listed among them. David Young also asks that I mention he has a swimmer's body. He doesn't say where.
Re: My Eyes. 20/20 in both eyes now, and no problems at all. I should clarify something however – a lot of you seemed to think the awful picture of the red eyeball in my last post was actually my eye. It’s not, and it wasn’t intended to be taken that way. I hope I haven’t put any of you off eye surgery. My eye never looked particularly bad, not even right after being operated on. Apart from a small red dot where a few blood vessels had burst, they’re as white and green as they’ve ever been:
Have a good weekend, and play safe with crackers. Having recently acquired it, I assure you that good eyesight is a valuable thing.