Parental Notification Law Takes Effect in Alaska
In Alaska, a new law requiring that doctors notify a parent of women age 17 and under who are seeking abortions went into effect yesterday after Superior Court Judge John Suddock refused Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest's (PPGNW) request to block it. The new law permits a judicial bypass, which has been shown difficult for young girls without the means to navigate it.
The law does not, however, require parental consent. If a parent does not consent to the abortion, there is a 48 hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed.
The judge did remove the provisions in the law that imposed a prison sentence of up to five years and fines of $1,000 on doctors who broke the law. Exemptions to the law will be made if an underage woman testifies to abuse before a judge or receives a notarized statement from her doctor attesting to abuse at home.
Clover Simon, Vice President of PPGNW-Alaska, stated, "This law is dangerous and puts teens at risk. Parents want to be involved in their teen's lives but good family communication can't be mandated."
In addition to Alaska, thirty-four states require parental notification or consent for women under the age of 18 who are seeking abortions.
Media Resources: Washington Post 12/17/10; Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest 11/22/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/25/10