Palin's Last Act: Parental Consent
As I tweeted yesterday, when MoJo was reduced to a twitter-only operation, the day before Sarah Palin annouced her resignation, one of Alaska's top public health officials was forced out for butting heads with Palin over social issues, specifically a provision that would require that girls under the age of 17 obtain parental consent before getting an abortion. Beverly Wooley, state public health director, was the second official to be forced out over this issue. The state's chief medical officer, Jay Butler, left in late June. Both made the critical mistake of wanting to present scientific evidence on the impact of parental consent laws to the state Senate. They never got the chance; the Senate "ran out of time." From the Anchorage Daily News:
Wooley said she also intended to answer questions from legislators and said she would rely on data, not anyone's personal beliefs. Whether she personally agreed with the governor is beside the point, Wooley said.
She intended to refer to studies from states that already had passed similar legislation, she said. Some of the research shows that, with parental involvement requirements, girls tend to get abortions later in their pregnancy, which is riskier and more expensive, she said. Other research shows fewer girls get abortions, which abortion foes like Palin likely would applaud. Wooley cautioned that the studies are small and not definitive because such laws are still fairly new.
"You let those facts speak for themselves. And truly, people will interpret those facts differently based on their own personal history and experience," Wooley said.
That was enough to get her canned. And guess what? The next day, the very day that Palin resigned:
A proposal to require parental notice or consent before a female younger than 18 could have an abortion was certified Thursday by the state so that its backers can seek enough signatures to get the initiative before voters next year.
So, Sarah Palin may be gone soon. But her policies live on. And no matter where her career takes her (Fox News anchor gig?), her last act cements her bona fides with pro-lifers. Which can only help her ability to raise or earn money.