All but one candidate running for office in the Oct. 1 Juneau Borough elections received a full endorsement from a hard-line pro-abortion activist group.
The Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition Political Action Committee only backs candidates who “affirm their support for the right of all women to access legal abortions and contraception.”
Earlier this month they issued a “full endorsement” for seven candidates in a voter guide sent to supporters. These candidates all favor public funding of abortions, they oppose parental consent or notification requirements before a minor girl can receive an abortion, and they are all committed to publicly support Planned Parenthood, which performs nearly all abortions in Alaska. They also oppose “all laws, regulations and policies” that limit abortion services in any way.
Additionally, the candidates affirmed their belief that a publicly funded hospital should be required to perform abortions.
“The City Assembly oversees appointments to Bartlett Regional Hospital’s Board,” the Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition website states. “We believe that the hospital has a duty to the community to provide abortions, and we must have an open-minded board.”
The group’s website explains why it takes such a hard line on abortion in local assembly and school board races. Assembly members, it notes, “can influence others, and they themselves often move on to hold higher office, where reproductive rights issues frequently arise.”
With regards to school board members, the group’s website observed that these officials oversee the Teen Health Center, a controversial program that offers birth control and abortion referrals to teens in three Juneau high schools. The Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition wants school board members who are “committed to maintaining and broadening” the Teen Health Center’s impact.
Bonnie Jensen, who is running for school board, is the only candidate that the Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition did not support. Her positions on abortion are unclear as she did not answer the group’s questionnaire and did not respond to questions from Alaska Watchman.
Candidates who received ‘full pro-choice endorsement.’
Assembly District 1
- Alicia Hughes-Skandijs
- Greg Smith
Assembly District 2
- Wade Bryson
- Carole Triem
- Emil Robert Mackey III
- Deedie Sorensen
- Martin Stepetin