As a result of a voter initiative passed Tuesday in Alaska's primary election, women age 17 and under seeking an abortion in state of Alaska must have their parents notified prior to the procedure. The new law does not, however, require parental consent. If a parent does not consent to the abortion, there is a 48 hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed. The new parental notification law will go into effect mid-December, according to RH Reality Check.
The law requires that doctors notify the parents of underage women who are seeking abortions, Anchorage Daily News reports. A doctor who fails to do so could face felony charges and a prison sentence of up to five years. Exemptions to the law will be made if an underage woman testifies to abuse before a judge or receives a notarized statement from her doctor attesting to abuse at home.
The Alaska state legislature had previously passed a parental consent law, but the state Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the law was unconstitutional because it violated teens' right to privacy, according to the Associated Press. Tuesday's voter initiative only requires notification, not parental consent.
Chris Charbonneau, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, attributes the vote to high conservative turn out for the competitive Republican primary election between incumbent Lisa Murkowski and tea-party candidate Joe Miller, reported the Anchorage Daily News. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union raised nearly $800,000 to oppose the measure.
In addition to Alaska, thirty-four states require parental notification or consent for women under the age of 18 who are seeking abortions.
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United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
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The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .