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
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
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.