State Supreme Court Rules
Alaska's Parental Consent Act Unconstitutional
November 05, 2007
(SitNews) - In a 3-2 vote Friday morning, the Alaska Supreme
Court ruled Alaska's Parental Consent Act unconstitutional.
The PCA, passed by the Alaska Legislature in 1997, requires girls
16 and younger to obtain parental consent before getting an abortion.
The court decided the law burdens a minor girl's fundamental
right to reproductive freedom.
"It is outrageous that a minor girl can get an abortion
without parental consent," said Governor Palin. "The
State Supreme Court has failed Alaska by separating parents from
their children during such a critical decision, moving in the
exact opposite direction from the law's intent."
Governor Palin has instructed Attorney General Talis Colberg
to file a petition for rehearing. Twenty-six states have parental
consent laws that are in effect. Sixteen states have parental
notification statutes in effect.
"Our court is out of step with mainstream judicial decisions
and our citizens," Governor Palin said. "This decision
is clearly a case of legislating from the bench."
In 1997, the Alaska Legislature passed the law that required
girls 16 years and younger to obtain parental consent before
getting an abortion. Justice Walter Carpeneti, one of the two
dissenting justices, recognized the will of the state in his
"In 1997, faced with competing interests of the highest
constitutional level an underage pregnant girl's constitutional
right to privacy in deciding whether to terminate her pregnancy,
her parents' constitutional right (and duty) to protect her best
interests, and the state's compelling interests in protecting
the children against their own immaturity the Alaska Legislature
carefully crafted the Alaska Parental Consent Act in an effort
to recognize and protect all of these interests. That law is
fully consistent with United States Court precedent, yet today's
opinion strikes it down. Because this court's rejection of the
legislature's thoughtful balance is inconsistent with our own
case law and unnecessarily dismissive of the legislature's role
in expressing the will of the people, I respectfully dissent."
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