Alaska House Approves Parental Consent Abortion Bill to Respond to State Court

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alaska House Approves Parental Consent Abortion Bill to Respond to State Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 7
, 2008

Juneau, AK ( — The Alaska House has approved a parental consent bill that would allow parents to object to their teenage daughter having an abortion. The measure would revise the parental consent bill the legislature approved in 1997 that the Alaska Supreme Court eventually declared unconstitutional on a 3-2 vote.

The House passed House Bill 364 on a 23-15 vote Saturday with no debate and the measure will go to the Senate for a debate and vote but possibly only have House reconsideration.

The bill would require abortion practitioners to receive parental permission before they can do an abortion on a teenager.

Since the state court’s decision, Gov. Sarah Palin appointed Daniel Winfree of Fairbanks to replace one of the judges who sided with the majority in overturning the consent statute.

House Rules Committee Chairman John Coghill, a Republican who is behind the bill, previously told the Juneau Empire newspaper he hopes to have the court review its prior ruling.

"I’m pushing the limits, there’s no doubt, but that was my intention anyway. I want to overturn (the Alaska Supreme Court). I think they are just so dead wrong," he said.

Although 35 states have either a parental notification or consent law in place on abortion, Brittany Goodnight, public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Alaska, told the newspaper that the measure would be the "harshest in the country."

That’s because it would be very difficult for teenagers in the nation’s largest state to get to a judge for a judicial bypass to override the consent requirement in very rare cases of abuse.

But Debbie Joslin, president of Eagle Forum Alaska, told the Empire that parental consent is vital because parents can help steer their children towards better decisions than abortion.

"God made parents for kids and the majority of the time parents are a great thing," said Joslin. "It’s not right to come between a parent and a child."

Related web sites:
Alaska legislature –
Alaska Right to Life –