Posts Tagged ‘Babies’

More new babies taken from mothers

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

More new babies taken from mothers

Custody orders have doubled in five years

By REBECCA PALMER – The Dominion Post | Monday, 02 March 2009

Dozens of newborns are being taken from their mothers every year because of fears for their safety.

Child, Youth and Family took 66 at-risk babies less than a month old into its care last year and 15 of them were taken the day they were born.

In more than half of the cases, older brothers and sisters were already in care, figures provided to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act show.

The number of custody orders involving newborns has more than doubled in the past five years. In the 2003-04 year, 32 were taken into state care.

Those taken last year include the newborn daughter of convicted baby-killer Tania Witika, who gave birth in Christchurch. CYF obtained custody when it heard she was pregnant.

The horrific death of Witika’s daughter Delcelia, 2, in 1991 was one of the worst child-abuse cases to go before New Zealand courts. She and her partner at the time were each sentenced to 16 years’ jail for Delcelia’s torture and death.

The rise in newborn custody orders coincides with a doubling in care and protection notifications involving babies still in their mothers’ wombs. Last year Child, Youth and Family received 215 notifications from people worried about the welfare of unborn children, compared with 96 five years earlier.

Nearly half the alerts came from health professionals. Police, family members, courts, schools and others also reported concerns.

Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes said the agency had been working to create an environment in which abuse and neglect were not tolerated. “In recent years, we have made significant progress in raising awareness of family violence and this is reflected in the increase in the number of notifications.”

He said no child was taken from its parents unless concerns were of “an extreme nature”. They could include history of family violence, mental health problems, addiction, neglect and previous abuse of children. “Removal of children at such a young age is the last resort.”

Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro agreed improved awareness was a big factor behind the increased numbers. “It’s part of a bigger pattern of increasing notifications, particularly off the back of high-profile cases like Nia Glassie.” Nia, 3, died in Auckland’s Starship children’s hospital in 2007, after repeated abuse that included being tumbled in a clothes drier, spun on a clothesline and kicked in the head.

Dr Kiro said the health sector had become more proactive in watching for signs of abuse and reporting them.

She suspected most of the health notifications came from hospitals. Pregnant women who had been abusing alcohol or drugs were more likely to experience complications.

The number of notifications involving unborn children was likely to keep growing, she said.

Paediatric Society president Rosemary Marks, who works at Starship, said most, if not all, district health boards now had a family violence co-ordinator. “We have had a real emphasis on training health professionals to be aware and to ask people about family violence.”

That meant there was an opportunity to help if a pregnant woman said her partner was abusing her. “We can intervene earlier and hopefully interrupt the cycle of violence.”

Re: Pro Choice Propaganda

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008


Also see: Abortion – High Court decision

The Case brought by Right to Life against the Abortion Supervisory Committee has highlighted that:

(1) New Zealand effectively has abortion on demand – almost 99% of women who apply to have an abortion are granted the right to proceed because certifying consultants have been willing to accept, based largely on good faith in the claims of women – that the continuance of their pregnancy will or might result in an impairment or deterioration of their ‘mental health’ (anxiety, stress, etc).

(2) There are serious and substantial grounds to doubt the lawfulness of many of the approximately 18,000 abortions carried out each year in New Zealand, because the grounds for many of the terminations involved a very liberal interpretation of the provisions of the law for termination, which when correctly applied – only allow for authorisation of an abortion (termination) when the certifying consultants are convinced, based on real evidence, that by not terminating the pregnancy the mother will face a real threat of serious danger to to her health or life.

(3) The Abortion Supervisory Committee has failed in its statutory duty to protect the rights of unborn children by aiding and abetting the termination of thousands of unborn children under their watch. They must be held to account.

The gross negligence of this Committee has been highlighted in that they have allowed thousands of abortions to proceed under their watch, when there were clearly NOT good reasons – in keeping with the law (serious danger to the life or health of the mother) – for the termination of the unborn child to proceed.

These statutory and moral failures will be addressed by Right to Life in continuing Court action in its seeking of a writ of mandamus from the High Court directing the Committee to comply with the strictures of the law and spelling out more clearly its statutory duties in relation to the activities of certifying consultants.

In his judgment Justice Forrest Millar stated:

“There is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed, the committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended”.