Anchorage, Alaska, Aug 27, 2010 / 04:01 am
Catholic support was critical to the passage of an Alaska ballot initiative requiring parents to be notified before their minor daughter has an abortion.
In elections Tuesday, Proposition 2 passed with 56 percent of the vote. Jim Minnery of the Prop. 2 backer Alaskans for Parental Rights said the support of the Catholic Church “played a crucial role in our success.” While tax rules prevent U.S. churches from advocating for or against political candidates, they may advocate for and against ballot issues and other legislation.
Speaking to the Catholic Anchor, he praised Archbishop of Anchorage Roger Schwietz for his “decisive leadership” in rallying support. He also praised the “dozens of parishes” which helped gather signatures to place the measure on the ballot.
Knights of Columbus councils from around Alaska, with help from the national organization, raised over $80,000 for radio and television advertisements. By contrast, abortion provider Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion advocates spent $800,000 on opposition ads.
Notices supporting the proposition appeared in Catholic Church buildings and prayers for the initiative’s success were offered at Mass. Catholic families distributed yard signs and bumper stickers and demonstrated at busy intersections.
Knights of Columbus also offered rides to the polls on election day. District deputy Cal Williams told the Catholic Anchor that the group provided 23 rides in Anchorage alone.
Williams added that the campaign had the positive side effect of encouraging parents to speak with their teens about the issue.
“Mothers and fathers, hopefully, did have discussions with their teens and the lines of communication are going to be wider open,” he remarked.