By a 3-2 decision, the Alaska Supreme Court threw out an embattled state law on November 2nd, 2007 that required parental or judicial consent before a teenager can have an abortion. Full story published in the Anchorage Daily News. Supplemental reports on KTUU Channel 2 and KIMO Channel 13. Pictured above left, another of the estimated 50 million victims of America's 34-year long Abortion Holocaust.
The court decided that the consent requirement mandated in the Parental Consent Act of 1997 robs a pregnant teen of her constitutional right to make such an important decision herself and transfers that right to her parents or a judge.
Both sides agreed the state has a compelling interest in protecting juvenile girls against their own immaturity and that parents have a constitutional right - a duty - to guide their children. They differed over whether giving parents veto power over a pregnant juvenile’s abortion decision went too far. The majority's contention was that when the state rolls over an individual right, even for a good and important reason, it must do so in the least restrictive manner. Allowing parents or a judge to require a teenager to have a baby “does not strike the proper constitutional balance” between the state’s interests and “the fundamental rights of its citizens,”
Apparently the court chose to disregard the custom and tradition of minors not being considered fully emancipated citizens, but to be wards of the state to be kept under the command and control of a responsible adult. However, while Chief Justice Dana Fabe, who wrote the majority opinion along with Justices Robert Eastaugh and Alexander Bryner, reject parental consent, she did say that a law requiring parents to be at least notified in advance of a juvenile daughter’s plan to have an abortion might pass muster, since it's an option used by other states.
But the dissenting opinion, written by Justice Walter Carpeneti for himself and Justice Warren Matthews, said requiring parental consent does not cross the line. When the state legislature passed the original bill in 1997, they carefully balanced all competing rights involved, and correctly concluded that requiring parental or judicial consent for an abortion “is the least restrictive alternative which will effectively advance the state’s compelling interests while protecting the child’s constitutional right.”
Click HERE to view the Supreme Court decision.
The law requiring consent before a girl under 17 could get a legal abortion was enacted in 1997, but it was challenged immediately by a group headed by Planned Parenthood and never went into effect. After the Alaska Supreme Court decided in 2001 that the privacy clause of the state constitution covered minors as well as adults (another mistake), Superior Court Judge Sen Tan, using the 2001 decision as justification, ruled the 1997 law unconstitutional in 2003. Tan's decision was then appealed to the Supreme Court.
When she learned of the Court's decision, Governor Sarah Palin called the decision "outrageous." She said the Supreme Court "failed Alaska by separating parents from their children during such a critical decision." Palin has asked Attorney General Talis Colberg to file a petition for a rehearing.
Anchorage attorney Robert Flint, who represented the losing side, supporting the law on behalf of the Legislature, is on vacation in Seattle and had not yet seen the ruling. But he accused the justices of “wholesale shaping of social and cultural mores.” He said he was surprised there were any dissenters among the “philosopher kings” on the court.
Clover Simon, head of Planned Parenthood of Alaska, hailed the decision but said it was important for people to understand that in real life, few people will be affected by it. “There is a very small number of teens who choose to have an abortion without telling their parents,” Simon said.
Of the 1,923 abortions performed in Alaska in 2006, 126 were obtained by girls 17 or younger. And this is one reason why the Alaska Family Council, in anticipation of today's decision, is promoting a draft constitutional amendment requiring parental consent in their Pro-Family Legislative Agenda For 2007-08. On page 2 of this agenda, they promote the idea of a constitutional amendment similar to the original 1997 bill, using the following language:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution, the legislature may, to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States, grant to a minor child's parent or legal guardian either the right to consent or the right to be notified before a person may provide an abortion to the child".
According to KTUU, State Senator Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River) intends to propose a constitutional amendment to circumvent the Court's ruling.
In a way, it's sad that we must resort to a constitutional amendment for this purpose. But this is our only effective defense against an increasingly cosmopolitan judiciary that believes it should make the laws as well as interpret them. The judiciary, rather than confining itself to its interpretative role as one of three co-equal branches of government, has assigned itself the pre-eminent role in government, contrary to constitutional intentions.
According to the National Right-to-Life website, 48,589,993 abortions have been performed nationwide from 1973-2004 (extrapolation since that time would increase this total to approximately 50 million as of this year). America's got a lot of innocent blood on its hands.