I’m a survivor of abortion and I can speak for myself



I’ve always wondered what went through my 16-year-old mother’s mind when she found out she was pregnant. Did a doctor tell her how easy it would be to end my life?  That no one would have to know, not her boyfriend, not even her parents? Did she worry about being shamed and embarrassed? About not living up to someone’s expectations? 

Unfortunately, this scenario occurs millions of times every year in the United States, but it’s a situation that I, by the grace of God, escaped from unscathed. 

My mother chose to give me life. She was undoubtedly given an opportunity to choose a path that the world tells women is an easy way out – a quiet exit from pregnancy where no one would never know of her “mistakes.”

But she didn’t take that route. She took the hard path, and I’m here today because she did. 

Because of her selflessness, I’ve lived to give birth to three beautiful children of my own. I get to tell my story today because my biological mother chose life, and because God blessed me with wonderful adoptive parents, David and Charlotte Richards, who exemplified what it meant to be kind, loving, and gracious. 

Because of my personal history, I value the sanctity of life to the very core of my being. 

Over the weekend, I had several Right to Life supporters contact me because they had been told that I voted against a pro-life bill.  I shared my testimony with them, and we talked about creating a culture of life in Alaska. 

I told them about our House Finance team’s efforts last year that stripped abortion funding from the state budget – and how we fought and won the battle to keep that amendment in place through the entire budget process. I told them how much the cause of life means to me. 

[Click here to watch Merrick’s comments last year.]

Ronald Reagan’s phrase, “trust but verify,” is a reminder to Americans that we shouldn’t simply believe everything we hear.

These engaged Alaskans may have trusted what they had initially heard about my vote, but they also did what every conservative should be willing to do: they called me to verify. 

These open-minded, kind, compassionate people now know that they have a true pro-life advocate working on their behalf – not just one who screams loudly at others and files dozens of bills without any plan to bring them to light. 

Kelly Merrick represents Alaska’s 14th District, Eagle River, in the Alaska House of Representatives.


  1. Cosponsor HB178, stop pretending we didn’t see your vote to keep it stuck in planned parenthood’s child sacrificing Healthcare committee.

  2. Here is the voting which I looked up on akleg.gov, and I see Merrick as a NAY vote (i.e. against discharge from the HHS committee). Please explain your vote.

    The question being: “Shall HB 178 be discharged from the Health &
    Social Services Committee?” The roll was taken with the following

    HB 178
    Discharge from HSS Committee


    2020-01-29 House Journal Page 1500
    Yeas: Carpenter, Eastman, Jackson, Johnson, Pruitt,
    Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Tilton, Vance

    Nays: Claman, Drummond, Edgmon, Fields, Foster, Gillis, Hannan,
    Hopkins, Johnston, Josephson, Knopp, Kopp, Kreiss-Tomkins, LeBon,
    Lincoln, Merrick, Ortiz, Shaw, Spohnholz, Story, Stutes, Tarr,
    Thompson, Tuck, Wool

    Excused: Rasmussen, Rauscher

    Absent: LeDoux, Neuman, Zulkosky

    Vacant: District 3

    And so, the motion failed.

    HB 178 is in the Health & Social Services Committee with further referrals to the Judiciary and Finance Committees.

    • So in your world a vote against due process is pro abortion? The likely hood of this type of legislation going anywhere in this legislature is slim to none. Furthermore, having Eastman carry a bill is the kiss of death to any legislation. If Alaska’s Right to Life group is the author of this bill I truly question their leaderships decision to have Eastman carry this bill and so should their sponsors.

  3. Disingenuous? Possibly. Apparently there was no attempt to abort.
    The vote results posted in comments raise questions.

  4. Unfortunately, Rep. Merrick did not explain her no vote. The headline is misleading she did not survive an actual abortion, and as I said before did not explain the no vote. I expect better from you Ms Downing.

    • You’re missing the point she was speaking metaphorically. It wasn’t like she saw the vacuum hose coming to suck her brains out and rip her arms and torso apart and jumped out of the way and then birthed herself. Jeez. Why are you people hating all the time?

      • Kinda sensitive aren’t you Greg? I have seen no insults or name calling, only debate and observations. I don’t consider this headline to be metaphorical, more disingenuous or misleading, as there was no actual abortion action. Are we not allowed to express opinion without being labeled haters?

          • Then I must consider you confused, as the people you are responding to and falsely labeling “haters” are simply trying to pin down the stance of an elected official who says one thing but demonstrated another with her vote.
            I believe it reasonable to have clear expectations of our representatives views and probable actions.

  5. Kelly, we don’t know each other but your E-mail called for me to respond. I am a 70 yr resident of Bristol Bay, growing up in Pilot Point. I married a local Aleut girl at age 18, she had 11 pregnancies, and I went on to found Peninsula Airways, Inc. After 42 wonderful years I lost her in an auto accident. I now have 18 grandchildren, somewhere over 30 great-grandchildren, and the great- greats are starting to show up. There has never been an abortion in my family, and never will be as long as I have anything to say. Having said that, I do not presume to tell other people how to make their decisions, so I will not be a rabid anti proponent. Good luck to you down there, I respect your willingness to work for us

  6. You may have a “step-mother,” or an adoptive-mother,” or any other kind of “substitute mother.” However, you only have one “mother.” That is your “biological mother.”

    The above fact, in no way diminishes the value and love of any woman acting in the role of your mother. The gift such a woman gives cannot be overstated.

  7. Surviving abortion would mean you were covered in coat hanger divots but somehow pulled through.

    Not having ever been a party to an abortion doesn’t make you an abortion survivor.

    As a politician though there are a ton of things you say that are meant differently than they are perceived so much like our FAA wrestler / spanker; you get a pass.

  8. Not your best effort, Kelly.
    Nothing in your essay says you’re an abortion survivor. You’re no Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor who sang to Colorado’s legislature. Either you survived abortion or not. Either you voted for taxpayer funded infanticide or did not. Clarification would be helpful.
    “Because of my personal history, I value the sanctity of life to the very core of my being.”
    Meaning what? Either you’re preaching emptiness to a timid choir or you’re a Valkyrie girding for battle from which only one victor emerges. Which is it?
    What’s the point of not screaming loudly and not filing dozens of bills on behalf of butchered babies? Are you their champion or not?
    What happens, Kelly, when our lobbyist-legislator team of Planned Parenthood and House colleagues decide to correct your counterrevolutionary activity, regardless of how softly you scream?
    What happens, Kelly, when Peoples Assistant Co-Governor Edgmon says knock it off lest you get what the Three Senate Musketeers, Shower, Reinbold, and Hughes got?
    Want to fix the dead-baby problem, Kelly, leave the infanticide side in ruins so they never do it again. Problem for you is Right to Choose gets a whole new meaning: either (a)”sanctity of life” or (b) sanctity of committee memberships, ability to Get Money for adoring constituents, incardination in the Holy City of Juneau. Can’t have both (a) and (b), Kelly… Planned Parenthood is here to see “both” is not an option.
    If “sanctity of life” is more than a vapid campaign promise, are you prepared to risk everything to save unborn lives, like a Medal of Honor winner risks everything to save his already born mates?
    Good news is you don’t have to answer Morrigan; Morrigan’s already born.
    Other news is, you can’t un-see our Editor’s picture of triplets, escapees from Planned Parenthood’s tender mercies; you can’t un-see ultrasound images of Planned Parenthood merchandise who weren’t so lucky.
    Stuff of nightmares… can’t preach to that choir, Kelly.
    Kelly, sure you can speak for yourself, albeit not well. You survived the gauntlet, you won, you’re a Politician, the pinnacle of human aspiration… but wait a sec… it’s not about you, is it?
    It’s about who speaks for dead babies, who lobbies for them, who forgives the taxpayers who pay to have them killed, parted out like derelict cars… it’s about spiking the heart of Alaska’s dead-baby industry… Co-Governor Giessel, Assistant Co-Governor Edgmon, lobbyists, sycophant supporters be damned.
    What now, Kelly?

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