Alaska's Planned Parenthood, doctors sue over abortion notification

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and several doctors have sued the state to block a new law requiring notification of parents before their teenage daughters can get an abortion.

The law was approved by voters in the August primary election. Planned Parenthood says the requirements of Ballot Measure 2 are set to take effect Dec. 14, and it wants to prevent that from happening.

Under the new law, a teen 17 or younger generally can't get an abortion unless her parents are notified. She could get around that requirement if she appears before a judge or provides the doctor notarized statements attesting to abuse at home.

The challenge asserts that the law violates privacy rights guaranteed in the state Constitution, said Clover Simon, the organization's vice president overseeing Alaska.

The suit also says that pregnant teens who are seeking an abortion are treated differently from those who want to continue their pregnancy, a violation of their constitutional right to equal protection. The latter can make the decision without involving their parents, while girls who want an abortion can't get one unless their parents are told, or they go to court or submit statements about abuse.

That's too much to ask of a girl in a difficult circumstance, Simon said. Most teens already involve a parent, aunt or grandmother, and those who don't usually are from troubled homes, she said.

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