With less than two weeks before the primary, the media is flooded with commercials for candidates. Who disagrees with whom. Who has the better ideas and why. On and on it goes.
Then, there's Ballot Measure 2. Largely financed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, I hear the "No on 2" ads -- ''no government mandates'' and ''protect teen health."
It's interesting. I'm watching these ads from the ''Yes on 2'' headquarters, yet, unlike the candidates, I largely agree with the Ballot Measure 2 opposition. So while I may agree with what they appear to be saying, I have to ask, is it accurate?
Planned Parenthood claims to be protecting the health and safety of our teens. Really? How is performing an abortion on a minor and asking no questions protecting that teen? I've been asked about those teens who come from abusive homes. Perhaps there is rape or incest. Ballot Measure 2 provides for a judicial bypass or affidavit that would not only waive parental notification, but would alert someone that the child was in harm's way so the child could then be removed from the abusive home. Yes, that child is in a fragile state, both physically and mentally. Asking her to talk to a judge could be painful, but what about the pain that comes from sending her back into that abusive home where the rape and abuse continue to happen for yet another day, another week, another month?
Planned Parenthood, is that what you call protecting the health and safety of our teens? It is those very children, those who have been raped or abused, those who don't have even a grandparent or an older sibling to turn to for an affidavit -- it is those children that this ballot measure protects the most.
Then there is the back alley abortion argument. Will our teens turn to the Internet for more dangerous alternatives in an attempt to avoid telling a parent? Planned Parenthood, you have said it best, fortunately most teens do involve a parent. Unfortunately, ''back alley'' abortions do happen. They happen here in Alaska even without a parental notification law. Teenagers will not always make wise decisions; we can only continue to educate and give guidance. Thirty-four states have parental notification and/or consent laws. Planned Parenthood, show me ONE state where ''back alley'' abortions have increased. The odds are in your favor. ...
Finally, the most compelling reason to vote Yes on Ballot Measure 2 -- Alaskans against Government Mandates. ''Are you against government mandates?" the opposition asks (If they didn't have so much out of state help, Planned Parenthood would already know this answer).
I am against government mandates. I am against the government telling me what I can and can't know about my child's life. THAT is the government mandate. How dare Planned Parenthood or any other government bureaucracy tell me what I can and can't know about my child's life. And for a group that claims to be against government involvement, they seem to have no problem requesting, from the government, millions of dollars in taxpayer money year after year. Planned Parenthood, do taxpayers a favor and get rid of the government mandate that says our tax dollars must help to fund your organization. This ballot measure doesn't create a mandate. This ballot measure gets rid of the government mandate and restores the rights of parents to oversee the upbringing of their children, while providing protection to those teens that need it the most.
So Planned Parenthood, you've hit the nail on the head -- no mandates and protection for our teens -- you have given Alaskans the motivation that we needed to vote Yes. And if you ever decide to quit hiding behind your thousands of dollars worth of deceptive, half-truth ads, Alaskans for Parental Rights welcomes a public debate. Again, I understand you may not know Alaska very well, but we prefer that you don't belittle our intelligence when asking for our vote by not offering an open and honest discussion. Vote Yes on 2!
Bernadette Wilson is campaign manager for Alaskans for Parental Rights.
By BERNADETTE WILSON