Alaska Legislators, Governor Sarah Palin, Discussing Abortion-Parental Consent
by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2009
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — State legislators who want to compromise on a bill that would require parental involvement before a minor girl can have an abortion are meeting with resistance from Gov. Sarah Palin. Alaska currently has no law allowing parents to know about their minor daughter’s abortion beforehand.
The Alaska Supreme Court overturned a parental consent law the state legislature approved once before and the legislature is hoping to put a new law in place.
Rep. John Coghill, a Republican, is pushing a parental consent measure that Palin supports while some other legislators say the best they may be able to achieve is a parental notification bill.
They point to the state Senate blocking a similar bill last session and say that only a parental notification bill will be able to get through the chamber.
Coghill tells the Alaska Daily News he knows the consent bill will have a tough time in the Senate and he says he may be willing to compromise as well to at least get a notification measure through even though he says he has the votes in the state House.
"If that’s all I can get then it’s something I would look favorably at," Coghill said.
Last year, Anchorage Democratic Sen. Hollis French, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, prevented the consent bill from moving forward. Though he doesn’t appear willing to support a consent bill, he may back a notification measure.
"I think that’s certainly an issue that folks have a lot less concern about," French told the newspaper. "If there is a compromise possible, it’s in that area."
However, Palin sent an email to the Daily News on Friday saying she wanted the consent measure. She originally announced her support for the bill in February.
"This bill is a good bill, as is, and I have faith that the pro-parent’s rights lawmakers agree that if we require Alaska’s kids to have their parent’s consent before they’re given a Tylenol from the school nurse, or before getting their ears pierced, that they understand why many parents support Rep. Coghill’s bill, as written," she said.
Though the Alaska Supreme Court killed the consent measure, the justices, in a decision written by Chief Justice Dana Fa, said a notification measure would be fine.
Palin may be reluctant to shift from a consent to notification measure because she thinks the court, which has seen its members change, may be open to consent now.
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
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.