Alaska Voters Should Support Parental Notification on Abortion in Primary

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 17, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alaska Voters Should Support Parental Notification on Abortion in Primary

by Joel Davidson
August 17, 2010 Note: Joel Davidson is the editor of the Catholic Anchor, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska.

They say you should understand your opponent’s strongest argument before disagreeing with their conclusion.

On August 24, Alaskans will vote on a proposed law that would require for at least one parent of a minor girl to be notified before she undergoes an abortion.

Opposition to Ballot Measure 2 is led by Planned Parenthood and their affiliated organization, “Alaskans Against Government Mandates.” They say some teens are unable to safely communicate with parents because of abuse in the home. These teens, as the argument goes, might be at further risk if they are required to notify an abusive parent prior to an abortion.

That is the main criticism of the parental notification law.

In response to this, it must be noted that the law includes specific exceptions for these rare cases.

A judicial bypass procedure allows judges to waive parental notice on a case-by-case basis. Teens could simply call the judge without ever standing in court. In cases of abuse, a minor could have another person with knowledge of the abuse sign an affidavit, which effectively waives the parental notice requirement.

It is ironic that opponents of this bill cast themselves as defending young girls from abuse. In reality, some of these minor girls have already been abused by boyfriends or older men — people who have vested interests in erasing evidence by way of secret abortion.

Requiring abortionists to notify a parent that his or her child is about to undergo an abortion should help bring these abusers to justice.

Another grim reality is that Planned Parenthood — the main funding source behind opposition to this bill — is the largest provider of abortions in the nation. In recent years, undercover reporters have discovered multiple cases in which Planned Parenthood workers routinely ignore claims by the reporters who pose as victims of statutory rape by older men. (see undercover videos at

It makes you wonder just who has a minor girl’s best interests in mind?

As a final note, it should be mentioned that a minor must receive parental consent before getting a body piercing, an Advil at school or an ear piercing. These requirements exist because the law recognizes that parents are the first defenders and protectors of their children. In fact, if an abortion results in complications, it will be the parents who cover the medical bills.

Keeping parents in the dark about their minor daughters’ abortions means isolating girls from their families, which makes it impossible for loved ones to rally around vulnerable children to provide them with the love and support they desperately need.

The best safeguard for minors is not to isolate them from parents.

Ballot Measure 2 acknowledges that parents have a fundamental duty and the natural right to guard and protect their minor children.


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