A few weeks ago I wrote a piece outlining some initiatives our state legislature should undertake during this legislative session to restore the Alaskan dream. One item on the list was “Embrace the sanctity of life and restrict abortion after a specific time of pregnancy, like maybe three months or fetal viability.”
I took a lot of heat for that item from those who rightly condemn abortion and recognize that human life starts at conception. Their argument was that any abortion is the inhuman act of terminating a human life. Those who criticized my point were not wrong.
I have been involved in Alaskan politics since the mid 1980’s. Every time I ran for a seat on the Anchorage Assembly I was endorsed by Alaska Right to Life, an endorsement I was honored to receive. I was endorsed because I was, and still am, committed to ending the barbaric act of abortion.
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The American opinion on abortion has remained evenly split for the past 20 years. However, the gap has been closing the past few years with a majority opposed to most late-term abortions, like the recent law change in Virginia where abortions are now permitted up to, but not including, birth. You read that right: An abortion can be done on a fully developed unborn child in the ninth month of pregnancy, so long as the natural birthing process has not started. That’s grotesquely sick and reflects the immoral attitude of the financially lucrative abortion machine.
“this does nothing to reduce or eliminate the brutal act of abortion.”
Praise the Lord Alaska has not enacted such a barbaric law as that of the Commonwealth of Virginia; however, we still have blood on our hands as Alaska’s laws on abortion still allow for an abortion under most circumstances and well after the first trimester. While the good news may be that Alaska has experienced nearly a 50% drop in abortions, from 2,370 abortions in 1992 down to 1,260 by 2014, the bad news is that unborn children are still being aborted in Alaska.
So back to my recommendation to pass a law that prohibits abortion after the first trimester or with fetal viability. The infamous 1973 Supreme Court abortion case, Roe vs Wade only restricted states from regulating abortion in the first trimester. Anything beyond that was left to the states. While Alaska law requires abortions to be performed by physicians and in hospitals or facilities licensed by the state, this does nothing to reduce or eliminate the brutal act of abortion.
“if we wait for the “purist’s” legislation that bans abortions in Alaska with a single stroke of the pen, nothing will change and more innocent unborn children will be aborted.”
In 2007 the legislature did implement a detailed abortion-specific informed consent requirement. In 2017 Representative David Eastman introduced House Bill 250, called the “Life at Conception Act.” Unfortunately, it never made it out of committee. Lot’s of excuses by politicos as to why it was not enacted into law, but regardless of the rhetoric, it was not enacted, therefore nothing changed.
Senator Shelly Hughes has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 4 that would “allow Alaskans to decide what kind of policy we want in regard to abortion in our state.” Her legislation is being criticized by some as not going far enough because it doesn’t outlaw abortion but rather simply takes the court system out of the decision making process. Her critics may be right about not going far enough, but her proposed constitutional proposal is a solid step forward and should be passed.
While any single act does not meet the objective of ending all abortions, they are efforts to restrain and reduce the number of abortions performed in Alaska. Every life saved is worth the fight.
Here’s the bottom line, if we wait for the “purists” legislation that bans abortions in Alaska with a single stroke of the pen, nothing will change and more innocent unborn children will be aborted. We should rally behind every incremental step offered to restrict abortions until the day we have achieved the ultimate goal and innocent children are no longer murdered at the hands of abortionists.
Over the past 35 years I have learned something about how politics operate and how progressives have been increasingly successful in liberalizing America and ultimately thwarting conservatives efforts at ending abortion. They do it with incremental steps. Just look at how Democrats pounded on national healthcare for the past 50 years and eventually achieved significant gains. Likewise, their quest for absolute control of our government is playing out as the Presidency, House, and Senate all are controlled by Democrats intent on expanding abortion.
My recommended legislation, acknowledging it does not meet the end goal, would be an incremental step to stop a significant number of abortions in our state and therefore, allow more children to come into this world with the opportunity to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
A couple of decades ago I read the following story about making a difference in life. It has resonated with me ever since as a guide to saving the lives of unborn children. I include an adapted version below for your reading pleasure. I think it explains very clearly why we must support every effort to restrict and eventually eliminate abortion from our society, one life at a time!
“One day a boy was walking along the beach when he noticed a girl picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the girl, he asked, “What are you doing?” The girl replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” The boy said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the boy, she said…”I made a difference for that one.”
Adapted from The Starfish Story, originally written by Loren Eisley