Planned Parenthood of Alaska v. Campbell

This was a pre-election challenge to a ballot measure in Alaska proposing a law  to require notification of one parent of a minor, followed by a 48-hour delay, prior to the performance of an abortion.

Filing Date: 7/31/2009

State: Alaska

Plaintiff(s): Planned Parenthood of Alaska, Susan Wingrove

Center Attorney(s): Janet Crepps

Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Eve Gartner and Diana Aguilar, Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Laura Einstein, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest; Jeffrey Feldman and Alexander O. Bryner, Feldman Orlansky & Sanders

Summary: In 1997, the Alaska legislature passed a law requiring physicians to obtain the consent of a parent prior to performing an abortion on a patient under the age of 17. After a 10 year legal battle, the law, which had never been allowed to take effect, was declared unconstitutional by the Alaska Supreme Court. Since that 2007 ruling, the Alaska legislature has considered, but has not passed, parental involvement legislation.

Anti-abortion activists in Alaska  placed an initiative on the 2010 ballot that would require notice to one parent, followed by a 48-hour delay, the written consent of one parent, or judicial authorization, before a minor can receive an abortion. The Center challenged the Lieutenant Governor's certification of the parental notice initiative on the grounds that it improperly sought to enact court rules, was confusing and incomplete, and that the summary prepared for the voters was misleading. Although the trial court found that the initiative impermissibly sought to enact court rules and that the summary was misleading, the court nonetheless ruled that the initiative could still be presented to the voters by severing the provisions enacting rules and ordering the Lieutenant Governor to prepare a new summary. The Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, and the measure appeared on the ballot and was approved by the voters in August.  The parental notice requirement was scheduled to take effect in mid-December, but due to a challenge brought by CRR, it has been partially enjoined. See: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, et al. v. State of Alaska

The Center