Alaska Pro-Life Advocates Kick Off Campaign for Parental Consent on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
August 28, 2009
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life group that is spearheading a signature campaign to place a parental consent on abortion measure on the state ballot has kicked off its efforts. The Alaskans for Parental Rights campaign began Thursday night to give parents the right to be required to okay or deny their teenage daughter’s abortion.
Earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell certified the initiative and its sponsors began the campaign to collect signatures from 32,734 Alaskans so the initiative can appear on the ballot.
The kickoff event took place at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage and it saw pro-life African-American leader Star Parker join other pro-life advocates in urging state residents to sign petitions for the measure.
Parker said she doesn’t want young women to have the same regret about an abortion as she does.
"I was using abortion as my birth control," Parker said, according to KTTU. "That it wasn’t until the fourth time I went into one of their so-called legal, safe clinics that I had a gut instinct way down deep inside that there has to be something wrong with this."
"Abortion itself has deeply scarred us as a society of people, and in particular the younger the person is who engages in this type of activity the deeper the scars are later in their lives," Parker said. "So we want to prevent them from having that type of pain."
Bernarditte Baker also spoke to the citizens gathered for the event.
"I have two lovely children of my own, they wouldn’t be around — excuse me, I get emotional — if I had chose abortion," she said. "I have three lovely grandchildren, they wouldn’t be here if somebody had chose abortion."
Planned Parenthood has risen up to stop the parental rights effort.
Its Alaska affiliate has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop a state ballot initiative and prevent organizers from getting the signatures and letting Alaskans have a chance to vote on the measure.
Planned Parenthood, along with Bartlett High School teacher Susan Wingrove, say they don’t want to prevent a vote but they claim the language of the initiative is unconstitutional.
Although Planned Parenthood claims the measure doesn’t take into account girls who come from abusive home situations, Jim Minnery, the president of the Alaska Family Council, says it does.
He explained that the measure would merely require someone familiar with the girl’s situation to inform the abortion practitioner that her parents are abusive.
"It’s such a tiny, tiny percentage of underage kids that get pregnant that come from an abusive or violent home," he said. "And of course we are aware of that and have done everything possible to protect those kids."
Organizers 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 consent 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.
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.
Related web sites:
Alaskans for Parental Rights – https://www.alaskansforparentalrights.org
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