Palin-supported abortion bill stalls

July 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 3 (UPI) -- One of Alaska's top public health officials says she was forced out because Gov. Sarah Palin felt she was out of step on social issues.

The main issue in doubt reportedly dealt with abortion.

Beverly Wooley, who has worked more than 20 years in public health in Alaska, ended her stint as state public health director Wednesday.

She was the second top health official to leave within days. The state's chief medical officer, Jay Butler, left in late June after declining to take on Wooley's job along with his own.

The key source of tension was legislation that would have required girls less than 17 to get parental consent for an abortion, Wooley told the Anchorage Daily News. The bill, which Palin actively supported, passed the state House but stalled in the Senate. Wooley and Butler also were actively involved in the issue.

A compromise under consideration would require girls to notify their parents before an abortion but not need permission to have one.

Palin declined to comment, calling the situation a personnel matter.

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