Alaska Parental Notification Initiative Goes To Court

Alaska's Parental Notification Ballot Initiative goes to the Alaskan Supreme Court.

The Alaska Supreme court will begin hearing arguments on whether or not the current Parental Notification initiative will go on the ballot this election cycle.  The initiative will ask voters to decide whether the state needs a law declaring girls under the age of 18 cannot receive an abortion without a parent first being notified of the procedure.

Via the Associated Press:

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest claims sponsors of the initiative did not give voters a complete picture of what the measure would do when they sought required petition signatures.

Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner (FIF’-ner) ordered state officials to write an “accurate” summary of the proposed initiative, spelling out that it would restrict existing rights and potentially subject doctors to penalties.

The ACLU says Pfiffner’s decision did not go far enough and appealed.

By “not going far enough,” the ACLU is actually arguing that the signatures gathered are not legal, as the petition was so misleading that many of those who signed may not have even known what they were signing to support, as we reported back in April.

The judge agreed it needed to be rewritten, but did not think they needed to get new signatures, even though the people who signed before may not have known what they were signing.

Two groups want to keep a proposed abortion initiative off the ballot because the language used in petition signature booklets wasn’t accurate.

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, says it’s not enough that a judge ordered the lieutenant governor to rewrite ballot language.