Alaska’s Speaker of the House Louise Stutes exhibited what appeared to be a blatant double standard when letting lawmakers speak on the issue of abortion this week.

Rep. Ivy Sponholz speaks in favor of abortion during a May 3 floor session of the Alaska House.

During the May 3 House Floor session, the left-leaning Republican Stutes let Rep. Ivy Sponholz, a pro-abortion Democrat from Anchorage, speak uninterrupted for nearly eight minutes on why lawmakers should fight for legalized abortion. Minutes later, she silenced a pro-life rebuttal by Rep. Christopher Kurka, and nine Republicans backed her decision.

Sponholz began by responding to the leaked draft by the U.S. Supreme Court indicating that the nation’s high court is about to overturn the landmark pro-abortion decision, Roe v. Wade.

Sponholz spoke toward the end of the session during “special orders,” a time when lawmakers are free to publicly address special matters which they find particularly important. Before addressing the body in this manner, legislators are required to give a subject title for their speech, and are then expected to stay on topic. These titles, however, are often vague and open to interpretation. Sponholz’s topic was simply, “complacency.”

She then proceeded to lecture her fellow lawmakers about why they must defend the legalized killing of unborn babies through abortion.

Sponholz’s meandering address recounted the history of Roe v. Wade and the reasons she believes abortion is “necessary” to deal with “unplanned pregnancies.” She lauded sex education for children, spoke in detail about various health risks associated with pregnancy and challenge the notion that adoption is a viable answer for women who don’t want a child.

She then acknowledged that abortion is a “deeply personal decision” that causes “trauma” for women.

“No woman wants to have an abortion,” she said. “When women choose to have an abortion, it’s because they really believe that they don’t have another choice, and it’s one of the most painful decisions that any woman could ever make in her life.”

Sponholz’s ended by citing statistics about public opinion regarding abortion.

Rep. Christopher Kurka speaks against abortion during a May 3 floor session of the Alaska House.

In response to Sponholz’s, Rep. Christopher Kurka (R-Wasilla) rose for his turn to address the House. Kurka is the former director of Alaska Right to Life, and strong advocate for ending abortion in Alaska.

Kurka titled his talk, “The U.S. Supreme Court decision and Alaska.”

He began by quoting a short paragraph from the leaked Supreme Court ruling, and then addressed one of Sponholz’s assertions that abortion was necessary to save the life of a mother. He said doctors can and should work to save both mother and child whenever possible.

Kurka then noted that more than 60 million unborn babies have been aborted since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and pointed out that four babies are aborted in Alaska every day. He argued that each unborn baby is a unique human life with their own DNA – not “blobs of tissue.”

At that point Speaker of the House Louise Stutes interrupted him.

“Rep. Kurka, you’re veering off your subject,” she asserted. “Your subject was ‘The Supreme Court decision and Alaska.’ It wasn’t the bodily anatomy of a woman.”

Kurka responded: “I’m not talking about the body of a woman. I’m talking about the unique DNA.”

Stutes shot back: “Please confine your comments to your subject matter.”

Kurka proceeded to talk about the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which mentioned that Alaska legalized abortion before Roe, “totally ignoring the question of whether or not the child in the womb is an actual human being, a person, or not.”

Given the recent Supreme Court decision, he said the Alaska Legislature needs to solve the abortion issue on the state level – a matter that is more important than passing a budget.

Stutes interrupted again, claiming that Kurka was again veering off his subject. Specifically, she took issue with the fact that Kurka spoke about the “effect” of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade on Alaska.

“You did not say ‘and its effect,’” an obviously annoyed Stutes told Kurka.

Kurka then attempted to continue his speech, noting that Alaskans have a constitutional duty to defend the life of “all persons,” born and unborn.

“Representative Kurka, we are not talking about the Constitution of Alaska,” Stutes interrupted again. “That was not your subject matter.”

“Madam Speaker?” a frustrated Kurka responded.

“You may continue, but keep your comments to your original subject matter, which was ‘The Supreme Court and the state of Alaska.’ It was not the State of Alaska’s constitution.”

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives voted 26-8 to silence Rep. Christopher Kurka as he attempted to give a pro-life speech on the House floor May 3.

Obviously flustered, a hemmed in Kurka attempted to finish, saying that in response to the Supreme Court decision and the fact that Alaska permits abortion, he has filed House Bill 206, which would outlaw the practice.

At that point Stutes cut him off a third time.

“Representative Kurka, I’m going to ask you to take a seat. I’ve warned you three times now to stick to your subject matter,” she scolded. “You’ve chosen not to do so.”

Kurka challenged her decision, which allowed the entire State House to vote on whether to uphold Stutes’ ruling, or let Kurka finish his speech.

The vote was 26 to 8 to silence Kurka with nine Republicans (Ben Carpenter, Bart LeBon, Ken McCarty, Tom McKay, Kelly Merrick, David Nelson, Mike Prax, Laddie Shaw and Louise Stutes) joining the House Democrats.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

9 Alaska Republicans back House leader’s move to stop pro-life speech

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Reggie Taylor says:

    The Alaska House of Representatives consists of 21 Republicans, 16 Democrats, 1 independent, 2 non-affiliated. The Senate consists 13 Republicans and 7 Democrats. Why is the House Speaker a Democrat? It’s like this time and time again. Until this garbage stops, the problems will continue.

  • John Ronsonol says:

    There was a time when I thought abortions were necessary, I was convinced by folks like Stutes and Sponholz until I read about what occurs during an actual abortion, the tearing off of limbs and severing of the head of a baby, a fetus, a life. I was buckled over gagging in repulsion, sickened by what actually occurs and by my own false thought that I was right. I agree that every effort must be done to save the life of the mother and child unless of course it becomes impossible. The greatest nation on earth allowing abortions? No , there is nothing about abortion that adds to the greatness of the USA, absolutely nothing about it that signifies that this is a great nation when immorality is ruling, Stutes and Sponholz practiced extreme bias in this case and shame on those for allowing Rep Kurka to be silenced.

    • kris Spencer says:

      Prior to Roe adoption was the routine order for women who were too young, poor, or not ready to be a mother. My birth Mom was in one of those categories. She chose, out of love, to place me for adoption. I was raised by two wonderful parents and am happy to be alive. Those who say women don’t have any other choice but to abort are WRONG. Carrying a baby to birth and making an adoption plan is less than 1 year in a woman’s life. After the adoption, she is free to continue to pursue her goals in life w/o the stress of parenting. Later in life she can still pursue a relationship with that child if she made an open adoption. That child will be a blessing to her and to others.

  • RL says:

    I have to agree.. We have some real problems with the politicians in Juneau.. Stutes is registered as a republican, but she is a full fledged liberal democrat.. She gets to maintain her power as speaker by claiming to be a republican. If the majority were typically democrat, she would magically become a registered democrat.. We need these spineless politicians to have their empire moved to an area accessible to the citizens of Alaska, and not in their protected kingdom of Juneau.

  • kris Spencer says:

    I admire Kurka and the 1-2 others who actually have a spine. I’m sick of liberals running as republicans in disguise. When the elected do not hold to the party line…something needs to be done.

  • Sharon Turner says:

    Ever ask yourself why the innocent pre-born human babies are so hated that many keep murdering them? So easy to eliminate to the garbage disposals, and or their skullcaps with scalps are now being used at University of Pittsburg – grafted to the backs of mice. And those ‘items’ must be pristine to bring the best prices? You can see this and oh so much more horrors committed daily by NIH and Dr. Fauci’s diverted funding of our tax dollars.. to make us complicit in their painful deaths. This is where I begin any criteria for sizing up my fellow humans!