Pro-life legislation has again fallen victim to the Legislature’s penchant for putting power over principle. The bi-partisan coalition in the Alaska State Senate that installed Democrat pro-abortion Senator Bettye Davis as Chair of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee and Democrat pro-abortion Senator Hollis French as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee has turned deliberations surrounding beginning and end of life issues into a non-starter.
While many Republican leaders have rightly criticized the Senate coalition on everything from policy proposals to partisan loyalty, there has been no talk of the insidious nature of the makeup of the House Majority that has invited Democrats into the caucus in an effort to blunt the influence of social conservatives. It is time for pro-lifers to hold State House Leadership accountable for their actions.
Republicans like Mike Chenault, Mike Hawker, Craig Johnson, Alan Austerman, and Paul Seaton all fall somewhere along the continuum from “pro-choice” to indifferent. When teamed with pro-abortion Democrats, they have been lethal to pro-life legislation.
A prime example of the problem can be seen in the House Health and Social Services Committee where the pro-life Chairman, Representative Wes Keller (Wasilla), doesn’t even have enough pro-life votes to get legislation out of his own committee. The Finance sub-committee on Health and Social Services chaired by Democrat Reggie Joule blocked traditional pro-life language prohibiting State funding of elective abortions from the State Operating Budget. Thankfully Rep. Mark Neuman was able to get the amendment through the Standing Committee.
HB 363, a bill to end public funding of abortions, could not muster enough support among House Republicans to even get out of committee, nor could HB 309, an end-of-life measure designed to empower patients to make end-of-life decisions for themselves relating to DNR (do not resuscitate) orders imposed by health care professionals.
Our legislators need to hear from pro-life Alaskans. While Alaska Right to Life, though a non-partisan organization, applauds the Republican Party’s pro-life platform, some Republican legislators do not share our views. Many even take your vote for granted. Don’t let them do it. Let your voice be heard!