Alaska Pro-Life Group Submits Signatures for Parental Notification on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
January 19, 2010
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — The group behind the effort to get a parental notification measure on the Alaska ballot has submitted what it says are enough signatures to make that happen. The Alaskans for Parental Rights campaign says the campaign has met the major requirements set forth by the state Division of Elections.
For ballot measure campaigns, the state requires sponsors to get signatures from 10 percent of the people who voted in the last statewide general election and seven percent of the people from at least 30 of the state’s 40 legislative districts.
Jim Minnery, campaign chairman and president of the Alaska Family Council, indicates the effort has met that threshold.
He said that, as of last week, the pro-life group collected enough signatures in 36 districts and had about 47,000 signatures — surpassing the tally of 32,734 legal signatures.
if the measure makes it before voters and receives their approval, then abortion centers in the state would be required to tell the parents of a teenager before doing an abortion that they want one. This gives them a chance to guide their daughter towards positive alternatives.
Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz asked Catholics across the archdiocese to sign the petition, and he strongly encouraged all 32 parishes in the archdiocese to support the drive from the pulpit and in bulletins and Web sites and to host signature-gathering volunteers at church.
Alaskans for Parental Rights would like to thank Archbishop Schwietz for his support of this initiative, said the groups campaign organizer Kelly Foreman in a December 8 email to the Catholic Anchor newspaper. His words of encouragement have raised up an army of petition circulators from parishes across the state. Many of these soldiers have circulated the petitions in their home parish and even visited other churches in order to collect signatures.
Additionally, hundreds of volunteers from other Christian denominations also collected signatures statewide in more than 200 churches.
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; 54 abortions were performed on teens 17 years old; 117 abortion were performed on teens 18 years old and 124 to those who were 19 years.
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.
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