Alaska Governor Rejects Abortion in Special Legislative Session, Wants Success
by Steven Ertelt
April 24, 2008
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has rejected adding debates over a partial-birth abortion ban and parental consent measure to the special legislative session. While Palin is pro-life, she said legislative leaders have given her no plan for successfully passing the bills.
The two bills died when the legislature ended its session and some legislators hoped Palin would add the bills to the agenda of the special session.
Senate President Lyda Green wanted the bills added but Palin said Wednesday Green has not given her assurances that the measures would have any more success in a special session than they did in the legislative session.
The bills were held up in the Senate because of pro-abortion Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Hollis French. Palin said she would be supportive "if the Senate president can show a path to success."
The Juneau Empire said Palin was disappointed "Senate President Green did not exhaust every possible option during the regular session to move the legislation."
House speaker John Harris supports the bills and condemned French’s holding them up but previously conceded they likely wouldn’t get past his panel.
"It’s probably a futile effort because of the way that they are made up. The (Senate) has chairmen that are going to get these bills and they are not willing to let them leave their committees," he said.
State legislators also have the ability to add the bills to the special session on their own.
One 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 April 5, but the Senate never passed the bill so it could go to the governor.
Palin, who is pro-life, told the local ABC news television station she’s disappointed the bill never made it to her desk.
"My belief is parents have the right to know about the health and welfare of their children," she said.
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.