Parental notification affirmed in Alaska

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Charlie Butts (

An Alaska court has upheld most of a voter-approved state law requiring at least one parent to be notified before a minor child can obtain an abortion.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest filed suit against the law, which gained voter approval in August 2010. The law provides an option for a judge to bypass the requirement in certain circumstances.

In its decision, the Alaska Superior Court concluded that "minors may be pleasantly surprised when underestimate parents support, comfort, and affirm them" - and that the parental notification law "sufficiently fosters a potential for worthwhile family involvement [and] that it passes constitutional muster...."

Alliance Defending Freedom acted as co-counsel in defending the law. Senior counsel Steven H. Aden tells OneNewsNow "a young girl's well-being is worth more than Planned Parenthood's bottom line."

Aden, Steven (ADF)"Parents care more about their minor girls than an abortionist ever will," he states. "The court was right to recognize that fact, and to recognize that there is an important interest on the part of the state in insuring that parents participate with their minor girls when circumstances like pregnancy arise."

Since 1995, the people of Alaska have voted approval of parental notification with Planned Parenthood using the courts to block it. The court this time heeded direction from the Alaska Supreme Court's previous decision that the state constitution permits a legal plan through which parents are notified so they can be part of the life-changing decision.

The Superior Court upheld the entirety of the law except for two provisions: one that allowed parents to sue in civil court if an abortionist fails to obey the law, and one that required clear and convincing evidence at bypass hearings.

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