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Judge allows parental notification to stand, but with changes

December 13, 2010|by Jason Lamb | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Anchorage judge has allowed the parental notification law to stand, but with some changes.

Superior Court Judge John Suddock wrote in his decision Monday evening that physicians should not go to jail for failing to comply with the new law, which requires doctors to notify a parent before performing an abortion on girls younger than 18.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and two doctors were seeking to stop the law, saying it violates the rights of minors and causes health care delays for young women.

Clover Simon the Vice President of Planned Parenthood in Alaska says "we are pleased that the judge gave a partial injunction.  He obviously felt responsibility to let the law go forward if he could."

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Simons says even with the injunction the lawsuit will continue she say its meant to uphold the rights of minors.

"We really want to make sure that women aren't afraid to seek medical as soon as they find out they might be pregnant."

But groups that support the original law, like the Alaska Family Council say the judges ruling makes the law worthless because people who violate it can't be punished.

"What's the incentive for a physician? It's basically a suggestion.  It's an Alaska State Suggestion now, under the judge" says Jim Minnery with the Alaska Family Council.

He says federal decisions about this same topic have gone in favor of parental notification.

"Parental involvement laws have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court on 9 separate occasions, the last one being a 9-0 decision.

Both sides will meet later this month to schedule the rest of the steps of this legal battle.

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