Petition draws controversy over law and abortion

In the state of Alaska girls 13 and over can have an abortion without their parents’ consent. A recent citizen’s initiative approved to continue on as a petition by Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell aims to change this law. However, it has sparked debate over the initiative’s legitimacy.

Students For Life, a club on campus since spring 2008 , released a flyer on Oct. 12 stating “Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Alaska are advocating against your constitutional rights by trying to prevent Alaskan’s from having the option of signing [this] petition.”

Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell received the citizen’s initiative on May 6. The Parental Involvement Initiative, as it was titled, states “before an abortion is knowingly performed or induced on a pregnant . . . woman under 18 years of age, notice or consent has been given . . . or a court has authorized the minor to proceed with the abortion.”

The notice or consent must come from a minor’s legal guardian or custodian at least 48-hours prior to the abortion.

It is a citizen’s right to create initiatives. After submission and approval of these initiatives by the governor, they become petitions that must be signed by voters in at least 30 voting districts. This petition is then re-submitted to the governor and after verifying that it is sufficient it is prepared for the ballot.

The Parental Notification Petition is now in circulation. However, Planned Parenthood and ACLU of Alaska have recognized sections in the initiative that, they argue, “fail to comply with restrictions” set on initiatives by the Alaska Constitution. Restrictions stating an initiative must not “create courts, define jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules.” If an initiative does this, it is not valid for approval by the lieutenant governor.

The ACLU argues that the Parental Involvement Initiative was wrongly approved by Lt. Gov. Campbell, and therefore, is not valid as a petition.

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“We believe the Constitution means what it says,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of ACLU of Alaska.

“[They] are infringing on our rights as citizens to come together and bring an issue up to vote,” said Paige Tiede, president of the Students for Life club. “It is absolutely ridiculous.”

Planned Parenthood has put forth a memorandum in support of an injunction of the initiative. In addition to changing court rules, Planned Parenthood argues that the initiative “fails to comply with the standards set forth in the Alaska Constitution,” specifically, that it should be “presented clearly and honestly to the people of Alaska.” The text of the initiative is scattered with bold words, underlined words and words in brackets conflicting with what has already been stated. Planned Parenthood observes in their memorandum that “nowhere in the text of the initiative is the significance of [this] explained.”

If Planned Parenthood’s arguments are deemed valid, the lieutenant governor will have wrongly approved the initiative. According to the memorandum, the office of the attorney general reviewed the initiative prior to him.

As it stands, the initiative is in circulation. The flyer by Students For Life lists four facts and one myth. Two facts state that ACLU and Planned Parenthood are “working against your right to a citizen’s initiative” and the Parental Notification Petition will be in circulation until Oct. 20. Another fact states that girls who are required to get parental notification to take an aspirin in junior high are able to get an abortion without parental consent.

The last fact reads, “Planned Parenthood and sexual predators both want young girls to be able to have abortions and access to all types of contraception without her parent’s knowledge or consent.”

“To state that Planned Parenthood wants the same thing as sex predators is offensive,” said Mittman, “Planned Parenthood is in schools and the community keeping teens safe.”


  1. Planned Parenthood is concerned about this issue, because for them, every abortion lost, is a funding source lost. They really want those abortions to continue to thrive.

    I would love to see the ACLU defend the rights of the unborn. It has become very clear to me that the ACLU has their own agenda and they seem to rally in defense of every unseemly cause.

  2. Mr Mittman says “to state that Planned Parenthood wants the same thing as sex predators is offensive”. That doesn’t make it untrue. They both have the same goal – the abortion – for different reasons. PP wants the money and the sexual predator wants the evidence gone.

    Planned Parenthood is all about money, not “keeping teens safe”. They are seeking more taxpayer dollars in the form of a bailout because fewer girls and women are choosing death, and it is affecting their profit margin.

  3. It sounds like the petition needs to have it’s language changed to comply with current law. Instead of arguing semantics, that course of action will move the petition forward. Planned Parenthood is here to give women the opportunity to make their own choices. Short and simple.

  4. Students for Life, for as long as they’ve existed, have been making dishonest claims. Remember the “abortion equals holocaust” propaganda they were responsible for last year? Not a single person in that group could prove their position.

    It’s no surprise they are at it again. Not only do they believe what they are doing is constitutional (pushing for an unconstitutional petition), but they have the gall to say the party calling them out (ACLU and PP) are being unconstitutional in doing so.

    Sounds like something straight out of a George Orwell novel.

    Ignorance is Strength, comrades.

  5. @ xxHixx Abortion equals holocaust: children killed in more then 30 years are more then an holocaust. So they are rigth!
    Planned Parenthood and ACLU said that this petition is uncostitutional: can I believe them?

    @ Suzy “Planned Parenthood is here to give women the opportunity to make their own choices”: are you sure? I think that the only opportunity that PP they to women is to ABORT their child!

    “That girls who are required to get parental notification to take an aspirin in junior high are able to get an abortion without parental consent”: this is a SHAME!

  6. Students for Life needs to change their language and use more graceful tactics if they wish to change anything. Their comparisons are absurd and they come across as a bunch of fanatical lunatics. If their club continues like this i would estimate its life span to last only another year or two until they fall apart.
    Good riddance.

  7. @Francesca- Youre argument is horribly flawed and makes no sense.

    Your conclusion “Abortion equals genocide”

    is based on your evidence “1 billion unborn have been aborted over 30 years is more than a holocaust.”

    So because the number of aborted is greater than “a holocaust” it must be a genocide?

    Welcome everyone to trying to reason with Students for Life, a club that draws bogus conclusions from non sequeter evidence!

    If you really were for life, why don’t you all go lock arms around the cemetary and keep people from going in the ground! What have you done that is promoting life? The only thing I hear about you guys is how you try to stop people from using their court-ruled right to an abortion.

    I doubt this club will die anytime soon, cause alaska is full of bible-thumpers, but I will say, keep it up. It’s fun for a laugh every now and again.

  8. Francesca needs to do some research that is a little more factual based and less hearsay. It’s really great to sling mud when you don’t know the facts.

    The path that was taken to get women to the point that they can make their own decisions for themselves was led by a woman who lived in the early 1900’s, Margaret Sanger. She suffered and sacrificed in order that women could have the right to make their own decisions on whether or not to get pregnant or not. I won’t go into exhaustive detail about it other than that was the origins of Planned Parenthood. You can google the name and find out the facts for yourself.

    p.s. I know this comment is like trying to chisel through a solid granite mountain, but I just have to try.

  9. Bible thumpers? Sigh…

    Jesus prayed on the cross, “Lord, forgive them… they don’t know what they do.”

    We are in the same predicament again…

    Those at the cemetery already in the grave at least had a CHANCE to live. The unborn don’t have a voice. Does it make it easy to say that a girl raped HAS to have her baby? Heck yeah… but the unborn baby is STILL a life!

    Adoption is the answer.

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