Why SB49 is morally wrong and will not work!

Alaska Right to Life’s position statement on SB49 and the new medical necessity regulations


In order to determine what is good public policy we must think clearly and ask the right questions, using sound logic with a premise based in truth.


When evaluating Senate Bill 49 and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services new regulation that restricts the use of state funds to pay for abortions to only those defined as “medically necessary”, we need to establish a premise from a principled foundation by asking some questions:


What is a “pregnant woman”?  Who or what is she “pregnant” with?  What is an “abortion”?  If there is such a thing as a “medically necessary” abortion, what does it constitute?


Knowing the correct answer to these questions is necessary to determine if SB49 and the medical necessity regulation are good public policy.


So let’s begin.


What is a pregnant woman?  Who or what is she pregnant with?

A pregnant woman is a human being created in the image of God and is therefore worthy of legal protection and medical care because “WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,”.  But that is not all; she also carries in her womb another human being, worthy of the same legal protection and medical care for the same reasons.  This is her pre-born child.  Every person starts their existence at conception, when her father’s sperm enters her mother’s egg creating a brand new life: a human embryo with unique DNA.  This is what is known scientifically as the beginning of a human being’s biological development and is an indisputable medical fact. 


Thus we establish our foundational principle as a premise:

A human being’s life begins at conception and is, before God, a person.

Therefore the Law will recognize and every good physician will see that he has two equally valuable patients when he treats an expectant mother.  This is the foundation, an essential principle to remember.


What is an abortion?

Abortion is a medical procedure or drug that, in a targeted manner, intentionally kills a pre-born child growing inside her mother.  It is not a cure for a disease or sickness (unless pregnancy is a disease).  It does not cure or prevent cancer.  It is nothing more than intentionally ending the life of an innocent human being.


How do we determine when an abortion is ethical?

If we extend the doctrine of the use of lethal force in self defense (dubiously so because the child is innocent) to pregnancy, we would determine that in order for an abortion to be medically necessary a pregnancy must be a direct threat to the life of the expectant mother.  And because the pre-born child is a patient every effort to spare the child’s life must be exhausted when saving the mother’s life.


This leaves very little wiggle room and begs the question:


Is there such a thing as a “medically necessary” abortion and if so what does it constitute?  Let’s start with what is known as probably the “hardest case”, an ectopic tubal pregnancy.  An ectopic pregnancy is when a human embryo implants outside of the uterus.  Specifically an ectopic tubal pregnancy is when the child implants in her mother’s fallopian tube.  These pregnancies are generally assumed to be fatal unless an abortion is performed.  The common explanation is:  It is better to save the mother by killing the pre-born child than to do nothing and allow both of them to die.  Bill Fortenberry does an excellent job destroying this myth in his article Ectopic Personhood.  http://www.personhoodinitiative.com/ectopic-personhood.html 


The idea that it is medically necessary to intentionally kill a pre-born child to save his mother’s life is an idea created by people who don’t value all human life.  With today’s advancement in medical science, physicians treating both an expectant mother and her pre-born child as patients, will find that killing one to save the other is never necessary.


The late Dr. C. Everett Koop, who served as Surgeon General during President Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush’s administrations, said: “Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.”


What does SB 49 actually say?

SB49 prohibits the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services from paying for abortions that are not deemed “medically necessary” except in cases when the pre-born child is the product of rape or incest.  This exception alone makes SB49 as worded morally unacceptable for any pro-life advocate to support it.  On average one percent of all Americans are conceived in rape or incest. The fact that their father is a criminal does not make them deserving of death.  There is no justification for the State of Alaska to pay to kill these innocent children.


Defining abortions of babies conceived in rape to be medically necessary!

Because of the poor wording and ambiguous construction contained in the language, SB49 will either a) be struck down as contradictory and incoherent; or b) abortions of pre-born babies conceived in rape or incest will be defined by the courts as medically necessary.  When we use State resources to finance the killing of a certain class of innocent human beings, we invite the judgment of God.


That’s not all

SB49 then goes on to broadly define a “medically necessary” abortion with a list of medical conditions which are not necessarily life threatening and definitely not grounds to kill the pre-born child.


Starting off this “restrictive list” is the language “”serious risk to the life or physical health” includes, but is not limited to, a serious risk to the pregnant woman of…”  In what way is physical health a justification to kill an innocent human being?  My wife just gave birth after nine months of being pregnant and she, as any mother will readily tell you, has had her health affected.   


Can it get any worse?

The language “includes, but is not limited to” is particularly concerning and causes the restrictive intent of the sponsors to be ineffectual in that it gives an abortionist carte blanch to define every abortion he performs as medically necessary.  Indeed, one of Alaska’s most notorious abortionists, has already stated that he regularly defines his abortions as medically necessary.  With this in mind it is doubtful that SB49 will have any effect on the number of abortions paid for with State funds.


The State Supreme Court “ruled” that the State of Alaska must pay for “medically necessary” abortions.  In response, SB49 is an attempt to eliminate state funds for elective abortions; however, it fails to do so ethically and it fails to do so effectively.


This says nothing of the dangers of legislatively legitimizing the usurpation of legislative power by the courts and will have to be dealt with in a separate article. 


Thomas Jefferson said:

The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government”


When examined carefully SB49 cannot be seen as the object of good government.


For the above reasons and with heavy hearts the board of Alaska Right to Life unanimously opposes SB49 and the associated regulations.


I need to say that we greatly appreciate the Governor and the legislative sponsors attempt to end the use of State funds from paying for abortions through the Denali Kid Care Program.  Regrettably, because of the way it is worded, not only will SB49 and the new regulation not work as intended, they are also morally reprehensible and must be opposed.


Soli Deo Gloria

-Christopher Kurka

 Executive Director

Alaska Right To Life


“The mission of Alaska Right to Life is to protect and defend innocent human life… from the moment of conception until natural end of life.”


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