Alaska Voters Pass Measure for Parental Notification Before Teen Abortions

State   Steven Ertelt   Aug 25, 2010   |   9:00AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Alaska Voters Pass Measure for Parental Notification Before Teen Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 25
, 2010

Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — Alaska voters easily passed Measure 2, a ballot proposal to allow parents in the state the right to know when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion. The state will now have a law requiring abortion practitioners to notify a parent of a minor girl 48 hours before performing an abortion on her.

With 84 percent of the vote counted, 70,503 Alaskans voted for the measure while 56,354 voted against it. That had parental notification winning on a 55.5 to 44.4 percent margin.

Alaskans for Parental Rights spearheaded the effort while the ACLU joined Planned Parenthood in opposing it.

"I think that Alaskan parents are concerned. They want to be there for their girls and they want to be there even when the going gets tough," said Bernadette Wilson, campaign manager for Alaskans for Parental Rights, according to the Anchorage newspaper. "And I think we sent the message loud and clear that we want to care for these girls, even those girls who come from unhealthy home environments."

Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, applauded the result.

"The people of Alaska have made it clear that parents should have the fundamental right to be informed before their children make a life-changing decision to have an abortion," she told LifeNews.com this morning.

Alaska becomes the 37th state to require parental involvement before a minor can have an abortion.

In 2004, AUL attorneys filed an amicus brief in the Alaska Supreme Court in support of an earlier parental consent law that was ultimately struck down. The state’s high court left the door open to considering a parental notification law constitutional — plus the makeup of the court has changed with opponents of the previous consent law no longer members of it.

Chief Justice Dana Fabe voted against the parental consent law in 2007 but said in the majority opinion: "Contrary to the arguments of Planned Parenthood, we determine that the constitution permits a statutory scheme which ensures that parents are notified so that they can be engaged in their daughters’ important decisions in these matters.”

Justices Robert Eastaugh and Alexander Bryner, who voted against the consent law, have left the court.

That means if Planned Parenthood, the abortion business that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars opposing Measure 2, challenges the law in court it would likely be upheld.

Joel Davison of the Catholic Anchor newspaper also responded to the results.

"Alaskan voters approved a ballot measure that will make it illegal for abortion practitioners to perform abortions on minor girls in Alaska without first notifying at least one of the girl’s parents," he said.

"Supporters say the measure will benefit minor girls by involving her parents in a critical moment in her life. They also point to the fact that those who sexually abuse minors will be brought to justice more readily if parents are notified before their minor daughter undergoes an abortion," he added.

Abortion advocates promised to target teens for abortions regardless of the outcome.

"We are going to be there and open tomorrow for teens no matter what happens in this election," said Chris Charbonneau, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. "They still have all the rights they had before."

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.

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 – https://www.alaskansforparentalrights.org

 

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