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NRL News
Page 27
June 2010
Volume 37
Issue 8-9

Voters Approve Parental Notification Initiative in Alaska

By Dave Andrusko

Finally given a chance to express their opinion, voters in Alaska passed a parental notification initiative for teenagers 17 and under seeking an abortion. Ballot Measure 2 won 56% support, meaning the initiative was backed by 69,012 “yes” votes compared with 54,945 “no,” according to the Associated Press.

National Right to Life’s State Legislation Department says that Alaska’s new law is the 30th valid parental involvement statute in effect.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, opponents, led by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, “had raised more than $800,000, five times as much as supporters,” according to the latest campaign disclosure forms.

This is a big victory for parents and young girls,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, NRLC director of state legislation. “A strong majority of the public, in Alaska as well as nationally, believes that it is only right and appropriate that parents be involved in such a crisis situation,” she said. “These laws protect young girls–after all, who would know their medical histories and care more about them than their own parents?”

According to the state health department, 125 Alaskan teens under 18 received an abortion last year.

Under Ballot Measure 2, a teenage girl can avoid notifying her parents if she appears before a judge or if she is a victim of abuse by a parent or guardian.

Thirteen years ago, the state legislature passed a parental consent law, although a series of court challenges kept the 1997 from taking effect. In 2007, the state Supreme Court struck it down 3-2. However, “The court left the door open for a law requiring parents to be notified,” the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Ballot Measure 2 takes effect 90 days after the election is certified. It would be in force in mid-December, assuming certification happens in mid-September.