The Alaska Supreme Court has committed “aggravated assault” on parental rights when it voted 3-2 to overturn parental consent for a minor child’s abortion. Justice Walter Carpeneti wrote the dissenting opinion on behalf of himself and Justice Warren Matthews. They're not
This ruling isn’t about Pro-Life versus pro-choice. So there’s no mistake, let me disclose that I am in fact “Pro-Life,” and that I believe in the protection of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death. That said, this ruling isn’t really about abortion, it’s about parental rights, and the Court’s assumption that they always know better than parents. This Alaska Supreme Court ruling has made parents irrelevant. That’s outrageous.
Newsflash: One doesn’t cease being a parent when a minor child gets pregnant. A “rose is a rose is a rose,” and a “minor child is a minor child is a minor child.”
My very first Blog (look it up) was for June 21, 2002, and was an article I had published in Anchorage’s Parents and Children Magazine. The first three sentences of that article follow: “Children are a Gift from God entrusted to the care of parents for a proper upbringing. Children don’t belong to Washington DC, or Juneau, or the local school district. Parents are responsible for educating their children and no one else. . .” Well, I should have added that “children don’t belong to the Alaska Supreme Court.” Children need to be educated and prepared about medical procedures by parents, whether or not I personally believe a particular medical “procedure” is moral.
It’s beyond incredulous that a minor child can’t be given an aspirin or get their ears pierced without parental notification and consent, but our Court rules that the same child can undergo a potentially dangerous (fatal for the unborn grandchild) operation. By the way, if something goes medically wrong for the minor mother during the operation, will the court be liable and pay medical costs? I think not.
So what to do? I agree with Governor Palin’s request to the Supreme Court for a re-hearing of the case – but have little faith the Court will do so. I will personally sponsor or happily co-sponsor legislation that will require parental consent for abortion (or at least parental notification). Hopefully we will have the ¾ vote in both the House and Senate necessary to pass such common sense legislation. I have told the governor that we should, if necessary (and it likely is), take the case to the United States Supreme Court. I hope she does.
On the home front, when judges are up for a vote of retention, their rulings and how they arrived at those rulings should be considered. The Alaska Judicial Council recommends candidates to the governor to choose between for appointment to judgeships; it’s in the Alaska Constitution. The whole process of judicial appointments are made needs to be re-evaluated, and possibly the Constitution amended. Some concentrated prayer would also be of assistance, but here on planet earth we need to do our human part of the job to protect both parents and children.