By AlaskaWatchman.com

U.S. House candidate Nick Begich continues to clarify his pro-life positions as Alaskans prepare to vote in the Aug. 16 special election to replace the late Congressman Don Young.

Begich is one of three candidates on the ballot to fill out the remaining months of Young’s term. The other candidates are fellow Republican Sarah Palin and pro-abortion Democrat Mary Peltola.

Last month on Talk of the Kenai radio show, Begich said he opposed abortion, except in cases of rape and incest. His latest comments, however, suggest he is evolving on the issue.

On Wednesday, Begich again appeared on the Talk of the Kenai with host Bob Bird. Begich discussed a number of policy issues, including his pro-life views. He first reiterated his support for the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Under the 10th Amendment, any power or authority that has not been specifically reserved for the federal government, is reserved for the states,” Begich said. “They have moved this issue back into the states’ purview and I think that’s the appropriate place for it. That’s where it was prior to Roe vs. Wade, and I would not vote to codify Roe vs. Wade.”

“Many pro-lifers, I know, did not vote for you because you hold that rape and incest exception,” Bird told Begich.

Bird then pivoted to a question about the federal Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from going to pay for abortions for people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Congress has included some form of this amendment in annual spending bills for the past four decades. The Hyde Amendment currently affects people in 34 states and the District of Columbia. The remaining 16 states, including Alaska, provide their own state funding for abortion coverage for people enrolled in Medicaid.

Before Hyde took effect in 1980, an estimated 300,000 abortions were performed annually using federal funds. The original Hyde Amendment – in force from 1981 to 1993 – banned the use of federal funds for abortions, “except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.” In 1993, however, the Hyde Amendment expanded the category of abortions for which federal funds are available under Medicaid to include cases of rape and incest.

Bird noted that the amendment was “somewhat watered down” in 1993 by allowing federal funding to abort babies conceived in rape and incest.

“My view is that we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect innocent life,” Begich said.

“Many pro-lifers, I know, did not vote for you because you hold that rape and incest exception,” Bird told Begich. “It, to me, is inconsistent with a Christian who says, look, it’s an innocent life no matter how they’re conceived. They’re not the ones to blame for either rape or incest.”

He then asked Begich whether he has made “any movement” with regard to protecting babies conceived in rape or incest.

Begich said he is continuing to ponder and discuss the issue with Alaskans.

“I think you raise a really important point in that the life in consideration here had nothing to do with the circumstances under which that life was created,” Begich said.

He added that he has agreed “right out of the gate” to vote in favor of the Life at Conception Act, a proposed federal bill that would declare that “the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being.”

“My view is that we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect innocent life,” Begich said.

Bird interjected, pressing Begich on the Hyde Amendment, specifically, and asking whether he would vote against allowing federal dollars to underwrite the abortion of babies who were conceived in rape or incest.

“Now a pro-lifer’s going to say, ‘Well I don’t have the votes to remove that,’” Bird said. “But if you did – if you did – and it’s certainly possible you might…”

Begich jumped in and said it was “consistent with returning this to a state’s rights issue.”

“Okay, but federal funding?” Bird asked. “You would vote to restore the Hyde Amendment to its previous, no exceptions (for rape and incest)?”

“Correct. Yes” Begich responded.

“Alright, well that’s movement,” Bird said.

“Yeah,” Begich said.

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Begich vows to oppose federal funding of abortions, including rape & incest cases

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


8 Comments

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    His latest comments, however, suggest he is evolving on the issue.
    Begich said he is continuing to ponder and discuss the issue with Alaskans.

    It’s getting closer to election time, I’ll say what they Want me to say.
    Remember to vote no excuses, stop the killings

  • Reggie Taylor says:

    As much as I oppose abortion, I believe that allowing a woman to abort a pregnancy that has resulted from a promptly reported rape or incest should remain. No more abortions midway through the 8th month of pregnancy with the excuse of rape when the rape was never reported in the first place. Like the recent, initially high profile (now secret) case of the illegal immigrant 10 year old in Ohio raped by an illegal immigrant man and with the illegal immigrant mother defending the rapist. Deport the woman and child, and put the rapist in prison at hard labor for life. The games must end. I don’t see the need for government funding of these abortions. The abortion fanatics can fund these through their non-profit organizations for poor women, and medical insurance companies can fund them if they wish. If state and local governments insist funding them, it should only be through the open process, not with laundered tax money through the block grant money shell game.

  • Trained Observer says:

    I am praying for Begich. It is an issue he must come to terms with and as pointed out Alaskan’s will see through the subterfuge of saying the right thing to get elected. This is the only issue that I believe stands between him getting elected over Palin. This is the only issue where she has any strength, the rest of the issues facing Alaska federally will fall to her hypocrisy. If Begich were a Democrat, he would not be prolife at all. Most Republicans and RINO’s also hold to the rape incest exception. It is time we stop pressing the “easy” button in the voting booth. If Alaskan’s truly want representatives who think and act as we do, we must raise the bar at the polls. The current administration is purposefully trying to torpedo this country and we need to take back the Congress and fill it with independent minded Republican Conservatives. I agree that we must stop the murder of the innocent.

  • Sally M Pollen says:

    I’m willing to give Nick Begich III the benefit of the doubt. He supports the Life at Conception Act, a no-brainer to many of us. I didn’t come out of the womb believing as I do now, that every life regardless of how it was conceived is sacred in God’s eyes, and likely most of us had to grow into that truth as Nick is doing.

  • John H Slone says:

    Please tell us, Joel or Bob, the percentage of pregnancies or abortions occurring in the US that are directly related to rape or incest?

  • Sharon Alice Turner says:

    My base question : since even 6th graders know babies begin at conception; a unique mix of both parents genetic history back through the generations.. “it” is a boy or girl human person. I ask you this “What crime, sin or wrongdoing did this person commit to warrant a death penalty before even given a chance to live? *Life, Liberty and ‘the pursuit of happiness? First of these is LIFE! We get ‘choose’ to be judge, jury and executioner of the ones unable to fight for themselves. If the child is an unwanted reminder, adopt him out to a loving family. If 64,000,000 million ++ exterminated here in USA isn’t enough? Will there ever be enough?

  • JeeTime says:

    Begich do people really think he is a conservative? He voted for Ethan Berkowitz. His father literally funds democratic operations in Alaska. The Begiches want want to sew up Anchorage and Alaska Business completely. from both sides. Imagine Family Holiday’s. “So Son, now your elected, remember we what I taught you about politics, its not about right and wrong, its about saying the right thing at the right time and not saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

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