Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Update on where the pro-life movement stands in the Last Frontier


With little fanfare, the Alaska State House of Representatives recently provided an interesting glimpse into where the pro-life movement stands in the Great Land and beyond.

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During discussion on how funding from the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act should be allocated in Alaska, an amendment was introduced by Representatives DeLena Johnson, George Rauscher and David Eastman that said no money received under these Covid relief funding streams may be expended for an abortion.

Under the Biden/Harris Administration, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, is running on all cylinders to ensure their biggest moneymaker, abortion services, continues to grow with financial support from you and me.

They are systematically undoing every pro-life advancement President Donald Trump achieved and, in addition, ramping up efforts to remove the Hyde Amendment provision that prevents federal taxpayer dollars from funding the destruction of innocent, unborn lives.

Rest assured, Planned Parenthood is utilizing every tentacle they have to reach for more taxpayer money, despite having nearly $2 billion in assets and 16,000 employees. Tony Perkins with Family Research Council, noted “

Fortunately, the amendment down in Juneau passed with every House Republican voting to keep abortion out of the Covid funding coming to Alaska.

Every one except Rep. Louise Stutes from Kodiak,who jumped ship to organize with the Democrats and in turn was given the Speaker of the House position. Rep. Ben Carpenter from Kenai was excused.

Every Democrat opposed the amendment, except for House Majority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck of Anchorage, one of the lone voices in Alaska to stand up against the Democrat machine’s ruthless pursuit of abortion all the time paid for by every taxpayer.

Utqiagvik Rep. Josiah Patkotak, an independent freshman from Barrow voted in support of the amendment, which is incredibly encouraging. The Alaska Native community has huge numbers of pro-life advocates who, despite often aligning with the Democrat party, are a formidable force for advancing policies protecting unborn children. In Louisiana, it is unusual for a Democrat to support abortion. They are a unique state, to be sure,but I see no reason why Alaska can’t join them in turning Democrats back from their incessant love affair with Planned Parenthood.

Although the Covid amendment likely will pass the more conservative Senate, it will also likely be challenged and brought before an Alaska court, a system that has a horrible record of overturning the will of the people and of the legislature on matters related to abortion by imposing their twisted logic that our State Constitution provides for the “right to abortion” under our privacy clause. If it gets to the Court, we will likely lose again.

Recently, 25 Republican U.S. Senators, wrote a letter to the Small Business Administration calling for an investigation into how 38 Planned Parenthood affiliate offices received $83 million in federal Covid-related stimulus funding, despite being ineligible for the program. Neither Senator Murkowski or Senator Sullivan signed the letter.

The Democrats’ priority isn’t getting money into the hands of people who treat life; they want to funnel billions to the abortionists who take it.

Legislation has once again been introduced by Sen. Shelley Hughes of Palmer to amend our Constitution, as Louisiana did this past November, to remove black-robed lawyers on the bench from having any say about the abortion matter or its funding.

The logic and doublespeak judges apply to our founding document as cover to usurp their role and force abortion on all Alaskans is a complete farce and the only way we can stop it is to amend the Constitution.

The bill, SJR 4, needs to get 2/3 of both chambers, a signature by the Governor, and finally to a vote of the people on a General Election. We have an outside shot of getting that in the Senate but no possibility, at least at this time, in the House.

Sadly, some fringe elements of the pro-life community, including Pat Martin with Alaska Right To Life, have attacked Sen. Hughes for the Constitutional Amendment she introduced. But this is nothing new. In Martin’s purest, condescending, and very unproductive mindset, only a complete ban on all abortions now, known as the Life At Conception Act, is worthy of any effort. All others are to be maligned.

For years, Alaska Family Council has sought to distinguish our ministry from Alaska Right To Life, which has become an organization that has taken a very aggressive and disturbing turn to alienate nearly every pro-life ally in our state. In my view, the louder and more antagonistic they become, the more marginal their influence will be.

In the end, as Alaska Family Council has stated before, the true “silver bullet” to advance a pro-life agenda in our state is to amend our Constitution and, at least in the foreseeable future, that opportunity presents itself next year when Alaskans are asked every 10 years if their should be a Constitutional Convention. There is no doubt we are at a place where that answer should be a resounding “yes.”

Tellingly, the Alaska Democrat Party opposes a Constitutional Convention in their party platform specifically mentioning that it might change the judicial selection process, “define the beginning of life, authorize public funding for private schools” and other possibilities they view as ominous. They want to keep the people far away from the “people’s document” and preserve their tight, unfounded grip on who gets to take their first breath of fresh, God-given Alaska air.

We have our work cut out. Let’s lean in.

Jim Minnery is President of Alaska Family Council.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. There’s good pro-life bills and there are bad ones. Alaska Right-to-Life is standing against the bad ones. Murder shouldn’t be regulated, it should be stopped.

  2. Jim, I agree that a Constitutional Convention would be a good idea, but the publicity and propaganda from the left will be horrible and the outcome at this point uncertain. Most folks don’t have time, even if they have the interest, in deep philosophical debates – we live in a sound-bite culture. We are not yet ready for this. Where is the pro-life curricula for schools? Planned non-Parenthood has open access to our schools and the kids are told murdering babies is their right. You also make a big assumption about the Native community being largely pro-life – on a “controversial” issue such as the Right to Life, they will follow their leadership – and AFN is definitely in the democrat camp. In the Christian community, the supreme ethic is love (the Lord and your neighbor); in the secular culture the supreme ethic is self, and this is how “reproductive rights” are sold (by sound-bite…); in the Native cultures I’m familiar with, the supreme ethic is respect – and respecting the life of the preborn as well as the lives of the parents is the way to encourage them to vote with us on this issue.

  3. Suzanne, I see that Jim Minnery and the AFC get unfettered access to MRAK to denigrate Alaska Right to Life, while AKR2L has no voice in your publication. Only the one-sided opinion from a protagonist of the Pro-Choice movement to provide criticism and finger pointing is heard, while the AKR2L view point is demonized without ever having a say in the campaign to protect the unborn. This is the second piece I’ve seen in the last week where the AKR2L reference has been wholly negative, without actually revealing what Mr. Martin in his promotion of AKR2L actually asserts. I’ve seen the defense of the politician, the mock outcry from the crowd and the silencing of the opposing view. It seems that seeking out the “antagonist” goes against your journalistic instincts, reducing your platform to a pawn in the proxy war on abortion and republican conservatism. I have begun to note a trend with MRAK; It’s a place where the rubber never really meets the road.

  4. Incrementalism; baby steps.; that’s how the progressives have been robbing our rights for a century. This is a step to regain the right side. The war is rarely won in a great battle but in the trenches of dirty fighting and we need to send fighters to Juneau and DC willing to get down in the mud and fight filthy like the progressives. They may not be perfect, but to wallow with the pigs you need to need someone willing to go deep into the manure and fight.

  5. I am sorry for myself that while growing up No one taught me Abortion was wrong. I had to find out on my own. Just the thought that no one cared enough to tell me is as horrifying as the thought of a baby killed: a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth generation wiped out. I wish I grew up under a community that valued life then I would had grown up knowing my family, my church neighbors, and community neighbors valued me as a child and young adult. They never cared to tell me abortion was murder, so I was hated by the people I ever knew.

  6. If someone turns away from evil, none of their sins which they may have committed will ever be held against them. Paraphrased

  7. What does this accomplish since Planned Parenthood has already stated that no federal funds are used for abortion services? They provide tons of health services for women, especially poor women: breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, STD screenings, general healthcare for both women and men, birth control (birth control pills are used to treat endometriosis and other conditions, not just to prevent pregnancy). They are some women’s only option for healthcare. Why is that not important?

  8. DAWN, PP says! And PP says that they don’t market body parts harvested from live babies (Josef Mengele was an amateur), never mind those videos of them bragging that the can buy a new Lamborghini from the profits of selling baby parts. Their business is killing and dismembering babies. Period. Period. Period. For all those other things you claim, there are many sources of the services where they do not dismember live human beings in a way that would be considered cruelty if done to a dog, and people would go to jail.

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