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Alaska judge weakens parental notice law

WASHINGTON (BP)–An Alaska judge has allowed a parental notification law to go into effect but disappointed its proponents by removing some penalties for doctors who violate it.

Superior Court Judge John Suddock refused a request by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest to block enforcement of a law approved by voters in August that requires parents of a girl younger than 18 years of age to be notified before their daughter undergoes an abortion, according to the Associated Press.

In his Dec. 13 ruling, however, Suddock eliminated the law’s provisions that permitted a fine of as much as $1,000 for violators along with a maximum prison sentence of five years and liability for damages, AP reported.

Jim Minnery, president of the Alaska Family Council, said Suddock’s removal of the provisions makes the law ineffective.

“What’s the incentive for a physician? [The law is] basically a suggestion. It’s an Alaska State Suggestion now, under the judge,” Minnery said, according to KTUU-TV, Anchorage’s NBC affiliate.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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