Pro-Abortion Groups Refuse to Debate Merits of Alaska Parental Notification Vote

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Groups Refuse to Debate Merits of Alaska Parental Notification Vote

by Joel Davidson
August 9, 2010 Note: This article originally appeared in the Catholic Anchor newspaper and is reproduced here with permission.

Juneau, AK ( — According to a leading parental-rights advocacy group in Alaska, opponents of a proposed parental rights law refuse to openly debate the merits of the measure. If approved by voters on Aug. 24, the law would require abortion practitioners in Alaska to notify a parent of a minor girl before performing an abortion on her.

Alaskans for Parental Rights is spearheading efforts to pass Ballot Measure 2, which goes to a statewide vote on Aug. 24.

According to a Aug. 3 email from the group’s chair, however, Planned Parenthood refuses to participate in a public forum on the merits of the measure. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in Alaska and the nation and a strong opponent of parental rights laws on abortion.

“(We have) repeatedly asked Planned Parenthood and their ballot group, ‘Alaskans Against Government Mandates,’ to discuss this issue in broad daylight — in front of interested Alaskans who want to see what both sides have to say about this important public policy matter,” said Alaskans for Parental Rights Chair Jim Minnery.

“We’ve asked them to name the forum, name the place, an objective moderator. The public has the right to know, right? Let them make up their minds after hearing the good, bad and the ugly.”

According to Minnery, Planned Parenthood has refused all offers to debate the issue.

“The silence has been deafening,” he commented. “They know that they will lose if they do because we have rationale — salient and effective rebuttals for every one of their deceptive one-liners they’re launching at Alaskans from behind the microphones and cameras.”

Repeated emails to Planned Parenthood and the affiliated “Alaskans Against Government Mandates” were unanswered as of press time.

Minnery contrasted the desire for a local “townhall-style public debate” to the strategy that Planned Parenthood has adopted, which is to oppose the ballot initiative with outside money and recruits from its headquarters in Seattle.

APOC reports filed last month show that Alaskans Against Government Mandates spent roughly $290,000 for media spots to defeat the ballot measure. That compares to only $9,200 spent on media by Alaskans for Parental Rights.

Opponents to the proposed parental notice law have also spent roughly $127,000 on outside political consultants.

Additionally, according to the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest Web site, the organization has actively recruited volunteers in Western Washington to phone voters back in Alaska in an effort to urge Alaskans to oppose the ballot measure.

In a promotional YouTube video against the parental rights initiative, a Planned Parenthood volunteer identified simply as “Margo” urges people from outside Alaska to call voters in Alaska and convince them to oppose the ballot measure.

“As a Planned Parenthood supporter, you are part of a family no matter what state you live in,” Margo states in the video. “We need to work together to ensure full reproductive health care access for everyone, everywhere, at any age.”

The Planned Parenthood Web site restates the group’s main opposition to the ballot measure, claiming, parental notification laws put teens from abusive homes at risk.

Advocates of the measure point out that in cases where minors have abusive parents, the proposed law allows girls to sidestep parental notification through a judicial bypass.

Additionally, that process would alert authorities to the abuse — so girls are protected from further harm.

Supporters add that the proposed law would safeguard young girls by requiring that all abortion practitioners notify at least one parent of a minor girl before aborting her unborn child.

Currently, abortions may be performed in Alaska on minors without notifying their parents. Parental rights advocates say this leads to young girls being pressured or coerced to have abortions by those who may not have a minor girl or her unborn child’s best interest in mind.

Related web sites:
Alaskans for Parental Rights –


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