Anchorage Alaska, May 15, 2017 -One of the most impactful pro-life bills ever introduced was filed today in the Alaska House of Representatives. House Bill 250, the “Alaska Life at Conception Act of 2017” was sponsored by Representative David Eastman and read across the House floor during Monday morning’s House floor session.
“Alaska Right to Life has been working with Rep. Eastman’s office on language for the ground-breaking legislation since before the start of session” said Christopher Kurka, the Executive Director of Alaska Right to Life (the only statewide pro-life advocacy organization dedicated to ending legalized abortion).
Kurka described the bill as doing two main things: “First, HB250 recognizes the preborn as legal persons consistently across state statute, thus making it illegal for an abortionist to murder a preborn child.” Currently Alaska law treats preborn children as legal persons only in limited circumstances like when a woman is attacked and her preborn child dies as a result. The attacker can be prosecuted for murder but the law does not apply to abortionists. Kurka maintains that this conflicts with the right to life and equal protection clauses of Alaska’s constitution. “Four babies are unjustly killed every day in Alaska because of these state laws that keep abortionists from being prosecuted for murder. This is a gross violation of Article 1 Section 1 of Alaska’s Constitution.”
Secondly the bill defines the right to privacy in the state constitution to not be construed to include abortion. “For years the courts have overstepped their constitutional parameters and have been usurping the law making powers of the legislature. Implementing the privacy clause in Alaska’s constitution should have been done a long time ago. Doing this now will stop the courts from using privacy to invent a right to abortion out of thin air” Kurka said.
When asked the reason behind sponsoring the bill, Rep. Eastman responded, “This is about keeping promises to my constituents. When I was sworn in as a legislator I gave an oath to protect and defend the constitution like the oath I gave when I served in the United States Army, but now with a different role. That role is to protect women and children in state law.”
Pro-life leaders from around Alaska reacted with praise Monday after the bill was introduced “I really appreciate Rep. Eastman sponsoring HB250 to help protect vulnerable women and children who are being targeted by abortion. This is one of the most important jobs of the legislature” said Christine Bursell, board secretary of Alaska Right to Life. Kenai Right to Life President Jason Floyd said “This is great news for the pro-life movement in Alaska. It’s really encouraging to see the plight of Alaska’s preborn taken seriously.”
Right to Life Interior Alaska President Pam Samash gave a similar response, “Praise God for Rep. Eastman! He is a true defender of Alaskan women and children. This bill is long overdue and will save the lives of thousands and thousands of children.”
Leaders from southeast Alaska also chimed in, “I am very encouraged by the introduction of HB250. This is a necessary step to end the abortion holocaust” said Sid Heidersdorf, President of the Juneau based group Alaskans for Life. Ed Gray, President of Sitkans for Life, said “It’s about time! I appreciate Rep. Eastman’s leadership on this and expect the rest of our lawmakers to support protecting Alaska’s preborn children.”
Passing the Alaska Life at Conception Act will be a monumental task, but Kurka remains enthusiastic about the opportunity for Alaska’s pro-life movement to finally be heard. “This will be a long term battle on behalf of Alaska’s preborn, but we are committed to helping lead a charge that will ultimately result in victory. HB250 is a major step in the fight to end legalized child killing.”