Member of Parliament for Rotorua
10 November 2004
National's health spokesperson's relationship with medical community "terminal"
National's Health Spokesperson Judith Collins' stance on the Care of Children Bill showed her total lack of
understanding and support for the medical community, says the Chair of Parliament's Health Select Committee.
The numerous amendments Ms Collins proposed to the Bill showed her complete ignorance on this issue and demonstrated her
inability to hold the shadow Health portfolio, says Steve Chadwick MP.
"Judith Collins made a very clumsy attempt to appear to be 'family friendly' without listening to a medical profession,
whose experience and approach was caring and practical," said Steve Chadwick.
"To politicise values without regard to the real-world consequences displayed a naive attitude to this kind of
legislation. With the law changes Collin's desired you could see a return to the prehistoric times of back street
abortion. How can this be seen as a reasoned law change?
"What the medical community told Parliament quite plainly was that the current law is working well, and any changes
would have a potentially damaging consequence on very vulnerable young women. Ms Collins chose to ignore their voices.
"I'd say Ms Collins' relationship with the medical community is critically ill and probably terminal. She must go."
Steve Chadwick, a qualified midwife, was also responsible for setting up Rotorua’s first family planning centre, says it
was a nonsense to suggest abortion was used by doctors as a treatment of choice to manage the problem of unplanned
pregnancy: "What medical professionals encourage are initiatives that are supportive and ensure a life time access to
safe sexual health services. Anyone who believes that a government can pass laws to force parental involvement is
Parliament voted to retain Clause 37 of the Care of Children Bill without amendment, overwhelming rejecting Ms Collins'
amendment in a conscience vote 75-45.