Sarah Palin Develops Strong Pro-Life Record on Abortion as Alaska Governor

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sarah Palin Develops Strong Pro-Life Record on Abortion as Alaska Governor

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 29
, 2008

Anchorage, AK ( — As the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin hasn’t had many opportunities to address the issue of abortion, but she has promoted a pro-life position when given the opportunity. Palin took her strongest stand on the issue of parental involvement and making sure parents aren’t left in the dark about their daughter’s potential abortion.

The Alaska legislature approved a parental consent bill to help parents know when their minor children are considering an abortion and to give them the ability to veto the abortion.

The Alaska Supreme Court eventually declared unconstitutional on a 3-2 vote.

Palin called the high court’s ruling "outrageous" and asked Attorney General Talis Colberg to file legal papers asking for a re-hearing.

"She feels parental consent is reasonable because it is required in nearly every aspect of a child’s life. It’s a parent’s right and responsibility to be involved in their child’s life," spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said at the time.

Since the decision, Governor Palin appointed Daniel Winfree of Fairbanks to replace one of the judges who sided with the majority in overturning the consent statute.

That earned her praise from Alaska Right to Life, the state’s leading pro-life group.

Its former president Bob Bird wrote in January that Palin has been "a pro-life stalwart every year since she entered the political scene" and said she "gave an encouraging speech for the pro-lifers in attendance at the ‘Proudly Pro-Life Banquet’" the group sponsored.

Earlier this year, Palin rejected adding debates over a partial-birth abortion ban and parental consent measure to the special legislative session. While that may have seemed like a rejection of the pro-life position, Palin said legislative leaders have given her no plan for successfully passing the bills.

While she would have preferred to see the bills put into law, she had no guarantee that spending significant amounts of taxpayer funds on the special session would result in a bill that would be sent to her desk to sign.

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."

Palin was disappointed "Senate President Green did not exhaust every possible option during the regular session to move the legislation."

House speaker John Harris admitted it would be a "futile" effort to have a special session.

Ultimately, Palin said she was disappointed the parental involvement measure never made it to her to sign.

"My belief is parents have the right to know about the health and welfare of their children," she said.


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