Pro-life Americans celebrated a tremendous victory in August 2010 when Alaska voters approved a ballot initiative requiring parental notice before abortion. Planned Parenthood previously filed a challenge in state court in an attempt to keep the measure off of the ballot, but was unsuccessful.
So it came as no surprise on Friday when the abortion industry giant filed yet another court challenge against the law—once again claiming that a parental notice law violates the Alaska constitution.
The rhetoric is the same: Abortion carries no risks. Parental notice laws harm minors. Minors are sufficiently mature to make their own health decisions.
Of course, each of these claims has been refuted time and time again in medical and social science literature. Earlier this month, AUL filed a brief in an Illinois appellate court demonstrating that abortion carries significant risks—risks that inflict minors with particular force. In addition, parental involvement laws actually work to decrease both minor abortion rates as well as minor birth rates.
Currently, 31 states have parental involvement laws in force. In none of those states has it ever been reported that a minor has been harmed in any way by a parental notice law. Hopefully the Alaska state courts will see through Planned Parenthood’s smoke and mirrors.
AUL has long been involved in the fight in Alaska and elsewhere to protect minors from the harms inherent in abortion and to promote the legal right of parents to be involved in the medical decisions of their daughters. In 2004, AUL attorneys filed an amicus brief in the Alaska Supreme Court in support of an earlier parental consent law that was ultimately struck down. Later, AUL provided information and counsel to allies supporting the law currently being challenged by Planned Parenthood.