Alaska Bishop Urges Catholics to Support Petition for Parental Rights on Abortion
by Joel Davidson
January 1, 2010
LifeNews.com Note: This article originally appeared in the Catholic Anchor newspaper and is reproduced here with permission.
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — With time running out, Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz has called all Catholics to actively rally behind a ballot initiative that would require abortion practitioners to obtain permission from — or at least inform — parents before performing abortions on minor girls in Alaska.
In order for the Parental Notification Initiative to go before voters in August, organizers need 44,000 signatures of registered Alaskan voters.
At this moment they are 4,500 signatures short with two weeks to go, Archbishop Schwietz wrote in a December 31 letter addressed to all pastors and parish administrators in the archdiocese.
How tragic it will be if this initiative fails because of a lack of attention or indifference, he added.
In order for an initiative to be placed on a state election ballot in Alaska, 32,734 signatures from registered voters are required and while the minimum number of names has already been gathered, more signatures are still needed to make-up for those signers who may be disqualified because they are not registered voters. The deadline is Jan. 15.
Archbishop Schwietz said parish leaders have it within their power to rally parishioners for one last push to get the initiative on the ballot.
Please make a personal announcement at all Masses this weekend and next, asking your people to sign the initiative, he added. This is an urgent request, as the initiative is about to fail, and we must not let that happen.
According to the latest report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 369 Alaska teens had abortions in 2006. Of those, 74 were 16 years or younger.
In November 2007, the Alaska Supreme Court overturned a state law the legislature overwhelmingly passed in 1997 that required parental consent before an abortion on a minor girl. Elsewhere in the U.S., parental consent or notice laws are on the books in over half the states.
For parishes that need petition gatherers, Archbishop Schwietz asked parishes to contact Maureen Crumley at 830-8373 to ensure that parishes can gather needed signatures.
For further information about the initiative, contact Kelly Foreman at 602-8249 or go to https://www.alaskansforparentalrights.org
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