Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Joins Lawmakers to Promote Parental Notice on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
February 27, 2009
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined members of the state legislature at a press conference Thursday to call for a bill to allow parents to be notified when their minor daughter is considering an abortion. Parental involvement bills have been approved before but struck down by the state Supreme Court.
Palin joined Representative John Coghill, Senator Donny Olson and other lawmakers to offer her support for new legislation.
"The most important thing at stake is the right of Alaska’s children to receive the support and input of their parents as they face a life-changing decision," Governor Palin said.
"Certainly, if we are a society that mandates parental consent before our daughters get their ears pierced, or even take a Tylenol tablet at school, I would think that there would be support both for parents to have to give consent and be informed anyway before such an invasive procedure of an abortion would be performed on our underage daughters," Palin added.
The Alaska House last year approved a parental consent bill that would allow parents to intervene in their teenage daughter having an abortion.
The measure would have revised the parental consent bill the legislature approved in 1997 and that the Alaska Supreme Court eventually declared unconstitutional on a 3-2 vote but it failed in the Senate.
Palin and legislative supporters are optimistic new legislation could survive a legal challenge. That’s in part because of a judicial appointment Palin made that could swing the court in favor of the pro-life proposal. She has another pick coming soon.
"Thankfully we know we can think optimistically about a court perhaps changing its mind, changing its opinion. Courts revisit their decisions all the time and if they did not, then we would still be in a society that allows segregated schools," said Palin.
Coghill, along with Sens. Fred Dyson and Gene Therriault introduced companion bills for parental involvement at the beginning of the legislative session.
Planned Parenthood representative Clover Simon told AP her group still opposes a bill to allow parents to know about whether their daughter will have a surgical abortion procedure.
Meanwhile, Sen. Charlie Huggins said pro-life advocates will try to get a parental involvement measure on the state ballot if the legislation fails to reach Palin’s desk.
That may be needed because Senate President Gary Stevens has essentially said he doesn’t want abortion bills to be considered this legislative session.
And Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat, may not allow the bill to get a hearing in his Judiciary Committee. The bill died in his committee last year.
"Wherever you fall on the abortion issue, right or left, this legislation is about family, and it’s about parents’ rights and protecting our children, and it’s supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle," Palin concluded.
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.
ACTION: Ask members of the state legislature to support House Bill 85 for parental involvement. Contact them at https://house.legis.state.ak.us
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