Palin supports bill requiring parental consent

Proposed law sponsored by three legislators

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009

JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is backing legislation that would require parental consent for a minor to have an abortion in Alaska.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, and Sens. Fred Dyson, R-Anchorage, and Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, introduced the House and Senate bills at the beginning of the session. They appeared with Palin and more than a dozen lawmakers at a news conference Thursday, including Rep. Cathy Munoz, R-Juneau.

"The most important thing is the right of Alaska children to receive support and the ability for them to receive the support and input of their parents as they face a life changing decision," Palin said.

Palin has voiced strong anti-abortion views, which endeared her to social conservatives when she was the Republican vice presidential hopeful last year. Palin, however, has not pushed that agenda in the Legislature until now.

Palin said she was not actively involved last year because she was assured a parental consent bill would pass.

She did not introduce her own bill this year so as not to create competing legislation, she said.

Just days after being named John McCain's running mate, Palin announced that her teenage daughter was pregnant. Bristol Palin gave birth Dec. 27 to a boy named Tripp and recently told a Fox News Channel host that it was her own choice to have the baby.

Coghill's bill would revise the Parental Consent Act passed by the Legislature in 1997, which was overturned 3-2 by the Alaska Supreme Court in 2007. The court held that the parental consent requirement was unconstitutional because it infringed on a pregnant teen's right to reproductive freedom.

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