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Signatures Submitted in Support of Alaska Parental Notification Initiative

Sponsors of a proposed Alaska ballot initiative seeking a law that would require parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion submitted signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot late last week. The initiative (see PDF), called the “Parental Involvement Initiative” also includes a judicial bypass provision. According to the Anchorage Daily News, approximately 47,000 signatures were submitted, well above the legal requirement of 32,734. A parental consent law was overturned by the state Supreme Court in 2007, according to the NBC. Opponents of parental notification or consent laws restricting abortion access argue that these laws endanger young women who may resort to unsafe abortion methods in order to bypass parental involvement. A 2009 report (see PDF) from NARAL Pro-Choice America states, “Mandatory parental-involvement (consent and notice) laws do not solve the problem of inadequate family communication; they only exacerbate a potentially dangerous situation. In some circumstances, teens facing a crisis pregnancy feel compelled to travel to another state where there is a less stringent parental-involvement law or no such law at all, to avoid involving their parents and maintain their privacy. In the most dire of circumstances, some pregnant young women who fear telling their parents may resort to illegal or self-induced abortions that may result in death.”

Sources:

Feminist Daily Newswire 12/14/09; NARAL Pro-Choice America 2009; Alaska Parental Involvement Initiative; Anchorage Daily News 1/15/10; NBC 1/15/10