"It's clear to me this law doesn't divide Alaskans into pro-choice or pro-life camps. Alaskans want parental involvement on this issue regardless of what the courts say."
- Sen. Dyson
(JUNEAU)—A recent public opinion survey commissioned by the Alaska Legislative Council and conducted by Dittman Research Corporation of Alaska found that the Parental Consent Law (SB 24) passed by the Legislature in 1997 enjoys broad, even bipartisan public support. The survey found that nearly 80% of Alaskans support the law requiring at least one parent to grant permission before a minor girl, 16 years of age or younger, is allowed to have an abortion.
Support for the law appears to cut across ideological lines. Fifty six percent of survey participants describe themselves as "pro-choice," while one third said they are "strongly pro-choice" and another 23% called themselves "generally pro-choice."
"It's clear to me this law doesn't divide Alaskans into pro-choice or pro-life camps. Alaskans want parental involvement on this issue regardless of what the courts say," said Sen. Fred Dyson
(R- Eagle River).
The Parental Consent Law is in legal limbo. (Planned Parenthood of Alaska et al. vs. State of Alaska) In October 2003, a superior court judge ruled the law to be unconstitutional. The case is currently on appeal and is scheduled for oral arguments before the Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 at 1:30 pm.
The survey also found if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, 54% of Alaskans will support an amendment to the Alaska Constitution giving parents authority to approve an abortion procedure for a minor daughter. Two-thirds of Alaskans will still support the law if it also applied to 17 year-old minors.