Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Planned Parenthood Declares War On Democracy, Files Suit To Overturn Alaska Abortion Parental Notification Initiative

Update November 24th: Reaction by pro-family lobbies now documented on this subsequent post.

Planned Parenthood has now shown its intrinsically evil nature. Despite the fact that a majority of Alaskan voters approved Ballot Measure 2, the Parental Notification Initiative which mandates that abortion providers attempt to notify parents or guardians when a teenage girl seeks an abortion, Planned Parenthood does not respect the voters' choice. On November 23rd, 2010, they filed suit in Alaska Superior Court to overturn the measure.

Joining them in the suit are Dr. Jan Whitefield, who's listed as practicing at the Alaska Women's Health PC located at 4115 Lake Otis Parkway in Anchorage, and Dr. Susan Lemagie, who's listed as practicing at Valley Women's Health Care located at 425 East Dahlia Avenue Suite J in Palmer.

-- Read the 37-page complaint HERE.
-- Read the 60-page motion for preliminary injuction HERE.

Planned Parenthood has three primary objections to the Parental Notification Law:

-- Violates the rights of minors seeking abortions, as guaranteed by the equal protection and inherent rights clauses of Article I, Section 1 of the Alaska State Constitution, most notably by singling out abortion as the only type of pregnancy-related medical care requiring parental involvement.

-- Infringes upon the right to privacy by minors seeking abortions as guaranteed by Article I Section 22 of the Alaska State Constitution. Burdens young women's rights to reproductive choice without furthering compelling state interests by the least restrictive means.

-- Violates plaintiff's rights to due process as guaranteed by Article I Section 7 of the Alaska State Constitution because it fails to give clear notice as to what conduct is prohibited or required in order to avoid criminal liability.

The motion for injunction asks that the court bar enforcement of the Parental Notification Law to begin on December 14th, 2010. What's interesting is that although Ballot Measure 2 passed on August 24th, 2010, Planned Parenthood waited until November 23rd to file the suit, just three weeks before the law takes effect. Is Planned Parenthood's objective to force the state to rush a defense which could be exploited?

In plain English, the parental notification law forbids a teenage girl 17 or younger from getting an abortion unless her parents are notified. She could circumvent the requirement if she appears before a judge or provides the doctor notarized statements attesting to abuse at home. The law gives doctors the job of notifying the parent; a doctor who failed to do that could be hit with felony charges and a prison sentence of up to five years.

Neither Alaskans for Parental Rights nor the Alaska Family Council initially responded to the suit. Since this post, a number have responded, as documented in this subsequent post.

Despite the fact that after the state's Parental Consent Law was invalidated in 2007, those of us on the pro-life side of the house were willing to compromise and accept parental notification instead. However, Planned Parenthood hasn't met us halfway; instead, they're suing to overturn a law freely chosen in an election. Because of this, Planned Parenthood is no longer merely "wrong"; they can now be considered evil as well. Our objective should no longer be limited to competing with Planned Parenthood in the public square. Instead, our objective should be to put Planned Parenthood out of business by any legal means.

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