Alaska Certifies Bid for Signatures for Parental Consent Before Teen Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
July 6, 2009
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — A state ballot measure that would allow parents to prohibit their teenager daughters from having an abortion has been certified by state officials. That means signature gatherers can begin their work to get enough state residents to sign up to allow it to go before voters in November 2010.
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell certified the initiative and now pro-life advocates need signatures from 32,734 Alaskans so the initiative can appear on the ballot.
They need the signatures before the legislative session begins next January from people who think parents have a right to know if their daughter is considering having an abortion.
The measure would require parental involvement before an abortion can be done on a minor girl unless the teen submits a notarized statement that she has been a victim of abuse by her parents, a physician declares a medical emergency, or a court signs off on an abortion notification bypass.
The initiative came about because state legislators, once again, stalled a bill in the state Senate that the House approved.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Hollis French refused to allow a hearing and vote on the bill.
Former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, recent Anchorage school board candidate Mia Costello and Kim Hummer-Minnery, whose husband is president of the Alaska Family Council, are behind the parental involvement effort.
The effort also comes about because the Alaska Supreme Court, ruled a parental consent bill unconstitutional on a 3-2 vote. The makeup of the court has changed and some observers say it would likely be more receptive to a new measure.
Former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has already signaled her support for such a measure.
Opposition is expected from the usual suspects.
Clover Simon, the Alaska vice president of Planned Parenthood, told the Daily News in May that her abortion business would oppose letting parents know about their daughters having an abortion that could greatly affect their mental and physical health.
She told the paper there are too many Alaska families who she claims are unhealthy and where girls would somehow be in danger of letting their parents know they are having a surgical or drug-induced abortion.
"I’m afraid that young women in that situation are going to see this and they’re just not going to get any help at all and they are going to take things into their own hand," she claims.
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.
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