Kevin McCabe: Let’s apply science to our statutes

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I filed HB107 a year ago — March 13, 2023. This bill would merely define when we humans consider when and how life begins. We are good at determining when death happens but we have significant political issues defining life.

It was not my intent to get in a huge battle with pro-abortion or planned parenthood folks. I acknowledge (and welcome the idea) however, that HB107 may be used in that arena. The reality is that it was only my intent to apply science to our statutes

But first, let me say that I have believed in life at conception since I was in high school. At the time, I was not a Christian or even particularly religious. But I did go to a world-class high school and learned about biology and reproductive organs. Because of that classic education in science I have always believed that life began at conception.

Consider that we spend billions of dollars to send spacecraft to mars to “look for life” which we think would be indicated by evidence of a single drop of water. Evolutionists or people who believe in Darwin’s theory believe that all life began from a single cell amoeba climbing out of the primordial ooze. Most scientists believe that life begins at conception.

As a 17-year-old teenager who understood biology and the science of where life came from, pitting that knowledge against my hormones was difficult. I was still in high school and my girlfriend was pregnant. Our families, while maybe more on the liberal side, were not very understanding where teen out-of-wedlock pregnancy was concerned. So, abortion was a consideration – probably more from me than her. I was frantic as I was on my way to college and bigger things. I thought I did not want this child and I also felt like a huge disappointment even before the big reveal.

At the end of the day, though, we decided to get married and have the baby. Whether or not that was a great choice, given my limited emotional age, is up for discussion. It was, however, a great choice for many other people. 

Let me tell you why.

My oldest son, the “person” who would have been aborted, is my hero. He is a firefighter and lifesaver. Several years ago, a Cessna 206 crashed while taking off from Merrill field and landed on fire in the parking lot of the business my son worked for.

My son had been a ramp rat for a company in Kodiak, as a kid, so he knew what to do and exactly how to save the people trapped in that airplane. And he did not hesitate. He (and several other Alaskans of course) were there in an instant trying to save the people from the burning wreck. It is what Alaskans do, after all. But what if he had not been there with the knowledge he had from a previous job? What if he had not been there at all?

Now he is a firefighter in the MatSu valley. And even with his limited time there, he has probably lost count — as most firefighters, EMS, and LEO first responders do — of the number of people he has helped, or even saved. What if the smoke alarm he installed saved a life? What if even the child he talked to at school remembered how to dial 911, or how to get out of a burning room? 

But what if he were not even here? 

Shouldn’t we all wonder how many military heroes, first responders, Einsteins, Curies, Fords, JFKs, Reagans, and other notable humans have been killed in the womb? What if the life a firefighter saved was yours? What if the life of a relative could have been saved by a first responder who is just not here? 

Also consider that, with the advent of robotics and AI, we must find a way to define when human life begins, when is life a “person.” The science tells us that the human zygote, in the mother’s body, is a totally separate life, with its own DNA and its own path forward. The moral right of self-determination. Does that path include being a hero? A scientist that will find a cure for cancer? Or the person who will save you or a family member?

Scientifically, should we not also consider the aging demographics of our population? How about the huge number of jobs going unfilled because of lack of people? Are we making a mistake with our rampant declaration of “my body, my choice” and using abortion as birth control? It is a conversation we must have, and HB107 is designed to give us a beginning, not an end. It is not designed to limit any health care choices or put doctors in jail. It is merely designed to find a scientifically statutory way to define life.

I know that there is an alleged plurality of people in Alaska who disagree with me. And I accept that. But notable to me is that many of the comments received, by my office, speaking against HB107, are from out of state. I would even venture to say, without counting them, that the majority are from out of state. This makes me wonder what Alaskans really think. Are we being played again by the abortion-industrial lobby? Played over this simple bill that merely defines life?

For me, it is hard to reconcile that against the good that my son, my hero, has done for so many people. 

Rep. Kevin McCabe serves in the Alaska Legislature on behalf of Alaskans in the House District 8-Big Lake area.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Existing law is so contradictory on this subject. If a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman and the baby in the womb dies too, the driver is charged with a double murder. Yet, it’s not a murder if the baby is killed through abortion. Abortion has replaced slavery as America’s great sin.

    • In the case of a female deciding whether or not she desires to carry a fetus to term, possession is ten-tenths of the law. “Christian” Nationalists have no right to force women to carry a fetus to term. Jerry Falwell was the first “Christian” Nationalist. Falwell and his cronies have invented an entirely new religion.

      • Whether ten or ten billion cells, it is a unique, individual human life separate from the woman carrying him or her. This is not a ‘Christian’ point of view, it is factual science. Whether this human being is worthy of life becomes the question at hand, much like questions of the nineteenth century of whether those with dark skin and African heritage deserved rights as humans. Then, as now, democrat party talking points said that all humans are equal but some are more equal than others.

      • Christian Nationalists? Congratulations on picking up on democrat and media latest attempt to call Christians Nazis (National Socialists). You are so cute.

        OTOH, if life is important, I am not adverse to paying a woman to carry a baby to term.

        Rights here are important. In your world, only Mom has any rights in the discussion. In my world, there are three players: Mom, Dad and the Kiddo. In your world, Mom can either condemn Kiddo to death via dismemberment or put Dad on the hook for 18-24 years of child support at the drop of her regal hand.

        In Dave Chappelle’s world, Dad gets a vote. If Mom can kill choose to kill Kiddo, Dad can choose to abandon.

        Somewhere along the line, someone has to speak to kiddo, who has a mortal stake in the festivities.

        Whatever we decide to do must consider the rights of all participants including the baby. Cheers –

  2. Great testimonial, Kevin. And while the Democrats re-learn biology, let’s teach them more atmospheric and climate science too. Democrats seem to have both of these disciplines very twisted and mixed-up. It’s hard to tell whether their problems are foundationally based, or a product of brain-washing. Either way, they get low marks for really understanding how science actually works.

  3. God bless you, Rep. McCabe. Anytime you want to put forth biological truth about life and death, Planned Parenthood is going to feel the threat and come at you with all they’ve got. You’ve offended the deceivers. Keep up the great work!

  4. Sorry KD, but real “scientists”, which you are not one, are not willing to go on the record by declaring a 10-cell embryo the size of a grain as a human “life”. Please spend your time more usefully, by fulfilling your Oath to the Alaska Constitution.

    • Are these the same ‘real’ scientists that called the RNA shots ‘safe and effective?’ The same ‘real’ scientists predicting the ice age of 1975, famine of 1990, Florida underwater by 2007, and multitude of other catastrophes that miraculously failed to appear over the last half century?
      “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, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
      Sorry, that pre-dates the Constitution, but even in 1965 important people knew that.

    • Baby killer, if we found that same grain of life on say Mars, our scientists would declare they found life. It’s not rocket science, just common sense.

  5. Life is a chemistry set, and what is and what is not life is pretty subjective. A virus is an example of chemistry that passes from death to life to death again, time after time, all because of our subjective definition of what is life. A human is not one life but millions of microbes that are constantly regenerating and constantly dying. Every human has atoms that have been part of earlier life. The valence of carbon and of silicon are the same, and that leads to all sorts of possibilities.

    To have life is to kill other life in order to survive. What is a species is pretty subjective, and possibly our species is the only one that thinks about that. We are not the only species that thinks however. We are not the only species that has culture, uses tools, or has language. We are very unlikely to be the species of longest duration on this earth, but then again where a particular species begins and ends is entirely subjective – and there again there are millions of microbes in a single human. I think it might be possible to come up with a definition of religion that would allow the belief that humans are not the only species with religion.

  6. This essay written with introspection and compassion, I will do my best to reply respectfully, with what I believe to be sincere questions:

    “It is not designed to limit any health care choices or put doctors in jail.”

    1. The Dobbs decision gave the legislature, and by extension, the voters of Alaska, the option of restricting abortion access. Yet, in a concurring opinion, Justice Thomas advocated for the re-examination of Griswold. Will an abortion law in Alaska also define contraception as illegal?

    2. After the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision on IVF, and the GOP Senator from Mississippi blocking a federal right to IVF have any influence on drafting legislation in Alaska limiting IVF?

    3. Should the position of the Alaska GOP be that hormonal birth control, IUDs, and IVF be restricted or outlawed?

    4. Seeing Texas legislators pursue criminal charges against abortions that occur outside the state, will Alaskan conservatives advocate for prosecuting people inside Alaska who commit acts that are classified as illegal here (casino gambling or driving 70mph aren’t legal here either) when they aren’t done in this jurisdiction?

    5. If any of our Alaskan scientists, doctors, and reproductive health experts draw conclusions that are not aligned with a rigid pro life dogma, does the government have the right to seek their termination from employment?

    6. Given the diversity of religious beliefs and practices in Alaska, should one particular religion’s accepted wisdom about this issue take precedence over others and be encoded into law?

    7. Given a political climate in which even conservatives are comfortable advocating the killing without trial of people percieved to be political opponents (running protesters over with cars, demanding Jewish advocated be sent to Gaza to be executed by the IDF), how can the “calmer” wing of the conservative movement be relied on to choose the language for legislation that won’t elicit an extreme reaction from the eliminationist wing of the GOP?

    • Some of your questions are disengenuous, and I will not attempt to speculate on implications or accusations of viewpoint discrimination. IMHO, there is a huge difference between contraception and contragestation – the preventing of life and the termination of life. Rep. McCabe’s bill does not warrant your angry speculation – those questions can be addressed if needed, after we agree on what science actually shows us about the beginning of life and we bring law into agreement with what is easily provable by science.

      • Well, as I said, I attempted to be respectful yet ask questions that are pertinent to people who seek IVF or hormonal birth control. I even quoted Justice Thomas and cited actions by elected officials. You may differentiate between abortion and birth control, but we have real world evidence of politicians who are blurring the lines, and I think its appropriate to ask if our legislators are going to act likewise.

  7. Sadly for too many on the left, science is situational. Apply if it advantages what you want to believe, otherwise ignore. Like you Rep. Kincaid, as a biology student, albeit during college and before I became a Christian, it was so obvious to me a developing fetus was a human and an individual life. Later, after I became a Christian, and then a mom, I had taken our daughter, age 7, to OMSI – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry while we were visiting family in Oregon. There was an amazing display of fetal development with actual preserved fetuses at numerous stages of development. It really was well done and the ‘fact’ of life completely evident at each stage. Anyone looking at that very scientific installation and calling a baby in the womb a blob of tissue would have to be an absolute idiot. I do applaud your efforts and I would be supportive of your bill. I am signing up for the alerts in order to know when it might be heard and hopefully moved forward!

  8. So, because Representative McCabe as a teenaged boy could not keep his genitals under control, now he feels driven to control OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES by “defining” when life begins??? And he’s basing his “science” on a high school biology class that he took, when? Twenty, thirty years ago? Lots of things have changed since you were a boy, Mr. McCabe. And one of the most important changes is that abortion is legal in Alaska, and is guaranteed in our constitution under privacy laws.

    • You silly little goose. Mom has genitalia too. You deign to award her all rights in the discussion. Why it that? In my world, young and dumb applies to everyone. In your world, apparently it only applies to men, which is remarkably sexist. Cheers –

    • Ah hah! You said, “as a teenaged boy could not keep his genitals under control,…..” So, you admit that all these unwanted pregnancies are because of the lack of control? As I have said before, the easiest way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to abstain…period. Our society has not been taught to control themselves and this is evident by all of the abortions that we see.

    • So says the man who demanded the vax for everyone and penalties against everyone who resisted the mandate. Thanks for playing. Cheers –

      • Brings a tear to my eye how perfectly the left wing Plandemic enforcers destroyed that old Abortion Inc. ‘my body my choice’ saw. Almost like all these protections Democrats carved out for their voters since the 1960s were never intended to be used in the 2020s by white, male middle class Christians.

        Watching Biden’s OSHA in real time (June 2021) drop long standing employee protections for employer-mandated vaccine programs was an eye opener as to how unscrupulous government has become. Like magic, suddenly ‘vaccine injury’ was no longer ‘OSHA-recordable’, and poof, we witnessed Democrats eagerly throwing out decades old employee workplace protections like so much trash.

  9. Government exists for three purposes:
    1. To protect the national security and integrity from invaders (look at our borders-FAIL).
    2. To mandate equal justice to all citizens (Trump and non-Trump, born and not yet born-FAIL)
    3. To provide necessary infrastructure which cannot be better provided by private industry.
    All citizens, born and not yet born.

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