Alaska Planned Parenthood Lawsuit Ignores Will of the People

Opinion   |   Jim Minnery   |   Nov 25, 2010   |   1:41PM   |   Juneau, AK

Like a pesky fly that keeps buzzing around and won’t go away, Planned Parenthood has once again proven that it cares less about the will of the Alaskan public.

Using the same tired logic and arguments that have already been rejected by Alaskans, Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the parental involvement for a minor’s abortion law that was successfully passed in August during the Primary Election.

For the following reasons, the Alaska Family Council is confident that the lawsuit will not be upheld by the Court:

  • In her opinion striking down the Alaska Parental Consent Act, then Chief Justice Dana Fabe noted that a notification law would “actually better serve the State’s compelling interests” than a consent law. We will hold her to her word on this.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of parental involvement laws on at least 9 separate occasions.
  • We anticipate that Justice Morgan Christen, a former Planned Parenthood Board member, will recuse herself from this case, should it make it to the Alaska Supreme Court, as she did when Planned Parenthood tried to invalidate the petitions we originally attained to get this issue in front of Alaskan voters.

Although we are confident the parental notification law will withstand this lawsuit, we are nonetheless concerned that the Superior Court might issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would effectively put the law on hold while the matter is appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court. This procedure was originally used back in 1997 and the parental consent act sat unenforced for 10 years until the AK Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 2007.

We cannot let this occur again. The people of Alaska have spoken loud and clear that parents have the right to be engaged in abortion decisions their minor daughters might be unfortunately considering. We will more than likely file a friend of the court “amicus brief” and do what we can to enourage the State of Alaska to aggressively defend this common sense public policy.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to stand for the rights of parents and protect the health of our teens and their pre-born children.  Jim Minnery is the president of the Alaska Family Council, a pro-family, prolife group that worked for the passage of the state initiative for parental notification on abortion.