Planned Parenthood Sues to Stop Alaska Parental Notification Abortion Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2010   |   6:51PM   |   Juneau, AK

The Alaska Planned Parenthood abortion business would have parents in the state be kept in the dark when their minor teenage daughters get an abortion if they get their way in court.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has filed a lawsuit against the new law state voters passed in the primary election that requires abortion centers to notify the parents of a minor girl who wants to have an abortion.

Voters approved the measure in August and the pro-life law is slated to go into effect on December 14, but the abortion business is asking a judge to issue an injunction preventing that from happening.

As it has in other lawsuits against notification laws, which have been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court and in other states, Planned Parenthood claims the law violates the privacy of the girls — but it says nothing of the parents who would be kept in the daughter about their teen girls and who would have to pay for medical expenses related to potential botched abortions.

The lawsuit also claims teens who want to have an abortion are treated differentially from those who want to keep their baby and it makes the claim the law violates equal protection standards.

With 84 percent of the vote counted, 70,503 Alaskans voted for Measure 2 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 after the vote. “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.”

Just one day later, Alaska Planned Parenthood created a web site to push teens into abortions using the judicial bypass provision.

With the vote, Alaska became the 37th state to require parental involvement before a minor can have an abortion.

In 2004, Americans United for Life 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.

As a result, this current court challenge may fail if it makes it to the high court.