Prolife legislators and certain prolife groups have eagerly endorsed Senate Bill 49, which seeks to define what “medically necessary” abortions are, in a praiseworthy but seriously naïve and dangerous approach to the problem of judicial usurpation.
We need to roll back the clock to 2001, when a certain Judge Sen Tan declared that “medically necessary” abortion funding was mandated by the Alaska Constitution. The decision was, on its face, a breath-taking and daring overthrow of the balance of power within state government. It amounted to judicial legislation and court-ordered spending. Tan’s ruling garnered barely a peep from all but a few prolife legislators at the time. The consensus was then, and still is now, that “the constitution is whatever a judge says it is,” and the lawmakers dutifully reinstated abortion funding, which had been carefully parsed and separated after years of legislative dithering and bickering.
Now our prolife lawmakers are attempting to work within the parameters of Tan’s hubris by defining just what a “medically necessary” abortion is. The hope is that with a new definition, some unborn human life will be saved.
However, the lawmakers are unwittingly playing into the hands of this impeachment-worthy judicial decree, and granting Tan’s ruling a legitimacy it does not deserve. Instead of saving “some” unborn human life by curtailing funding, they could and should end the funding entirely.
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