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AUL Files Brief Supporting Parental Notice in Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. (07-31-13) – Americans United for Life, the legal architect of the pro-life movement, filed an amicus brief in the Alaska Supreme Court supporting Alaska’s parental notice law, which requires an abortion provider to give notice to a parent or guardian before performing an abortion on a minor. The law was overwhelming supported by the voters in Alaska when it passed as a ballot initiative in 2010. “Young girls need the guidance and protection of an adult in considering the impact of a life-changing event,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

“Parental and adult involvement in abortion decisions protects young women and saves lives,” noted Dr. Yoest. “Minors’ abortion rates and birth rates decrease in states that require either parental consent or parental notice, and we’ve also seen the sexual exploitation of minors thwarted. Too often abusers use abortion to cover up their crimes.”

Leading the fight to block parental involvement in a young girl’s abortion decision is the nation’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood, which has been filing lawsuits to deny minors the basic protections of these commonsense regulations.

Beginning in 1997, after the Alaska State Legislature enacted a parental consent statute, Planned Parenthood succeeded in having the Alaska Supreme Court ultimately strike it down. Then in 2010, Alaskans passed a ballot initiative requiring that abortion providers notify a parent or guardian before a minor’s abortion, and Planned Parenthood again quickly filed suit. A lower court upheld the law, and Planned Parenthood appealed to the state supreme court.

AUL filed the brief, available here, on behalf of Alaska Family Action, the organization that oversaw Alaskans for Parental Rights and ran the ballot measure campaign (“Yes on 2”) that led to the adoption of the parental notice law. In our brief, AUL demonstrated that parental involvement laws decrease both minor abortion rates and minor birth rates, that abortion carries significant physical and psychological risks, and that minors are particularly susceptible to these risks.

AUL attorneys have been actively involved in the fight to protect minors and parental rights in Alaska. AUL has repeatedly consulted with legislators, attorneys, and other allies in Alaska, filed a brief in the Alaska Supreme Court in defense of the 1997 parental consent law, helped to prepare the attorney who argued in defense of that parental consent law, and vetted the language of the 2010 parental involvement ballot initiative.