Voters defeat lobbying measure

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Alaska voters have defeated a ballot measure that would have banned municipal governments and school districts from spending public money to lobby.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

With 225 of Alaska's 438 precincts reporting, voters rejected Ballot Measure No. 1 63 percent to 37 percent.

The voting was closer on Ballot Measure No. 2, the parental notification initiative, which would require doctors considering an abortion for a girl under 18 to notify her parent or guardian.

With 218 out of 438 precincts reporting, Alaskans were approving the measure 55 percent to 45 percent.

The parental notification measure has drawn heated debate on both sides.

It's not a parental consent law. The Legislature passed such a law, but the state Supreme Court in 2007 ruled it unconstitutional, violating a teenager's right to privacy.

The ballot measure would require doctors to inform a parent or guardian if an underage teen seeks an abortion, personally calling a teen's parent.

If a guardian refused consent, the abortion could still be performed - after a 48-hour waiting period.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union-Alaska are against the measure and contributed heavily to the group opposing it, Alaskans Against Government Mandates.

Spokeswoman Rhiannon Good says most teenage girls will go to their parents if they're pregnant but some cannot because of their risky home life.

Supporters of the measure say girls as young as 14 should not be getting abortions without their parents' knowledge. Bernadette Wilson, campaign manager for Alaskans for Parental Rights, says a court decision removed parents from the equation and a yes vote on Ballot Measure 2 will allow them back in.

"We're here because the courts took away a parent's right" she said.

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