By Dave Donaldson
An Anchorage Superior Court today said an initiative requiring parental notification before young women can get abortions can remain on this year’s ballot. However, he ordered the Lieutenant Governor to rewrite some of the descriptive information that voters will see before they go to vote.
Judge Frank Pfiffner determined that aspects of the ballot information – as well as the petitions signed by the public – were misleading and, in some instances unconstitutional. However, he ruled that sponsors will not have to gather new signatures to qualify the initiative for this year’s General Election in November.
The court ruled that, specifically, the ballot description did not notify voters that the initiative could lead to criminal proceedings against doctors, or that, under current laws, underage women have a right to abortions without parental notification. The court also ruled that changes in Court Rules were unconstitutional, however those items can be separated from the overall purpose of the initiative.
The judge ruled that other challenges to the initiative were not critical – and with changes by the Lieutenant Governor, the measure can still appear on the ballot. ‘