Sarah Palin Backs Parental Notification on Teen Abortions Ballot Measure in Alaska
by Steven Ertelt
May 4, 2009
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — Former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is backing a statewide ballot measure that would require parental notification before a minor teen can get an abortion. With the state legislature failing to approve a parental involvement law, Palin says the parental rights measure is needed.
As LifeNews.com reported, a parental consent measure died in the state legislature because Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Hollis French refused to allow a hearing and vote on the bill.
Now, former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman has submitted an application to start gathering signatures for the parental notification law and he has Palin’s support.
In fact, Palin said she would have sponsored the ballot initiative herself, but state attorneys told her she probably shouldn’t open up herself to criticism from detractors.
"I got a preliminary opinion from [state attorneys] just giving me a heads up that critics would certainly file an ethics charge against me if I were to sponsor an initiative," she told the Alaska Daily News.
"So though I maintain I have First Amendment rights just as any other citizen does, I won’t flirt with the notion of giving critics more ammunition to keep filing wasteful ethics charges against me, but instead I’ll volunteer to be the first signature," the governor added.
Palin said she wouldn’t be surprised if someone went after her for merely supporting the parental notification initiative.
"I acknowledge the ‘new normal’ we’re dealing with today will no doubt see someone filing a charge against me anyway, for exercising my First Amendment rights as a citizen, but I will not hesitate to speak up in support of Alaska’s daughters," she said.
Once Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell certifies the ballot language, sponsors and supporters can begin collecting signatures of Alaska residents. The goal is to qualify the pro-life measure for the primary ballot on August 2010.
To do so, pro–life advocates need 32,734 signatures before the legislative session begins next January from people who think parents have a right to know if their daughter is considering having an abortion.
Opposition is expected from the usual suspects.
Clover Simon, the Alaska vice president of Planned Parenthood, told the Daily News that her abortion business would oppose letting parents know about their daughters having an abortion that could greatly affect their mental and physical health.
She told the paper there are too many Alaska families who she claims are unhealthy and where girls would somehow be in danger of letting their parents know they are having a surgical or drug-induced abortion.
"I’m afraid that young women in that situation are going to see this and they’re just not going to get any help at all and they are going to take things into their own hand," she claims.
According to state statistics, there were 1,759 abortions in Alaska in 2008 and 141 were done on teens under the age of 18. There is no indication of how many were done on 17-year-olds and younger teens.
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