On February 26, 2009, AK Governor Sarah Palin (Sarah), State Representative John Coghill, State Senator Donny Olson, and others advocated for legislation to be passed during the state’s 26th Legislative Session tor require parental consent for abortions performed on minors (Consent, 2009, Â¶1).
Alaska’s 1997 parental consent bill was deemed unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Court. A revised version passed Alaska’s House, but lost in its Senate by a 3-2 vote during last year’s legislative session. The revised bill is similar to existing parental consent laws in other states, and thus can survive a legal challenge (Consent, 2009, Â¶2).
“Certainly, if we are a society that mandates parental consent before our daughters get their ears pierced, or even take a Tylenol tablet at school, I would think that there would be support both for parents to have to give consent and be informed anyway before such an invasive procedure of an abortion would be performed on our underage daughters,” Sarah said (Consent, 2009, Â¶1).
Those who are against parental consent for abortion cite child abuse, harassment, or lack of family support as the reasons why parents should not be notified.
According to Yvonne K. Fulbright, a sexologist at FoxNews,
“When parental involvement laws were enacted, many feared the consequences this would have on youth seeking out abortion-related services. According to The Guttmacher Institute, there is no strong evidence that having parental involvement laws in place prevents minors from obtaining an abortion (Fulbright, 2009, Â¶14).
Even in states where such laws are absent, six in 10 minors involve at least one parent in their decision to terminate their pregnancy. Abortion rates have steadily declined in states both with and without these parental involvement laws (Fulbright, 2009, Â¶15).
Even so, keeping parents uninformed promotes abortion, as the pregnant girl is lured into the belief that it’s an easy way out and a way “make her problem disappear” with no one being the wiser.
The argument that parental notification foments child abuse is devoid of logic. Should parents not be notified of their child’s grades on report cards for fear of abuse stemming from a poor mark? Should parents not be notified that their child got into a fight at school? Parents have been known to severely punish children over such things.
Abortion is surgery. Any other form of surgery on a minor requires parental notification and consent. Abortion should be no different. As Sarah said above, parents must be notified when a school nurse administers over-the-counter medication.
Parental notification on abortion is more a matter of simple common sense than pro-life vs. pro-choice.
Fulbright, Y. K. (2009, February 27). FOXSexpert: 10 sex findings you won’t believe. FoxNews. Retrieved February 28, 2009 from: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,501364,00.html
Palin pushes parental consent legislation: Joined by Rep. Coghill and Sen. Olson. (2009, February 26). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 27, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1667