INDEPENDENT NEWS

Teenage Motherhood Advocacy Sends Wrong Signals

Published: Wed 1 Aug 2001 09:07 AM
Teenage Motherhood Advocacy Sends Wrong Signals
Tuesday, July 31 2001
Dr Muriel Newman
Press Releases -- Social Welfare
The Government is sending young New Zealanders the wrong signals with its advocacy of single teenage mothers and weak welfare stance, ACT Social Services Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman says.
"Contrary to the actions of Governments in other countries such as the UK and US Steve Maharey and his colleagues are now trying to justify single teenage motherhood.
"Mr Maharey in Parliament today trumpeted new research on teenage pregnancy, being conducted by Helen Wilson using Government funding. Ms Wilson has concluded that teenage birth-rates have halved since 1973. She also concludes that 'a growing number of studies show outcomes for some teenagers are improved by giving birth'.
"The Government and Ms Wilson gloss over the fact that teenage abortion rates have soared since 1973. They also gloss over the real social problem ' that the Government's own statistics show ' that two thirds of mothers who go on the DPB as teenagers never come off it. Research from the Christchurch School of Medicine has shown that daughters of young single women are more likely to become young single mothers themselves.
"The stand the Government is taking on teenage pregnancy will undoubtedly cause more women and their children to become victims of the dependency trap," Dr Newman said.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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