Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses the Alaska Legislature on Jan. 23. Behind him sit Senate President Gary Stevens and Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s fifth State of the State address to Alaska’s lawmakers was punctuated by a strong call to make Alaska “the most pro-life state in the country.”

Unlike his previous speeches given at the start of the legislative session in Juneau, which placed little or no emphasis on the pre-born, Dunleavy’s Jan. 23 address was marked by a sober reminder that the entire purpose of lawmaking is to protect and strengthen “families and children, from the moment of conception on.”

After spending the first 36 minutes focused on resource development, crime prevention, mitigating inflation, health care and educational reforms, resisting federal mandates and encroachment on state sovereignty, paying a full PFD and waging a war on fentanyl, Dunleavy centered the final nine minutes of his speech on families and the pre-born.

He began by highlighting the young and burgeoning family of Barrow’s Rep. Josiah Patkotak and his wife Flora. Dunleavy introduced their two young children, Elijah and Francine, ages two and three months. He said Alaska owes it to parents like the Patkotaks to “build a state that works for them and their children.”

Dunleavy, paused, and took a more sober tone, saying he wanted to address, “one last thing.”

“This is important,” he said. “It’s no secret to anyone that I’m a pro-life governor and my administration is ready to work with all of you over the next four years to achieve the goal to make Alaska the most pro-life state in the country.”

“Let me just speak for a moment,” he continued. “You see, like many of you, I happen to like people, and more importantly, we need more people in Alaska, not less. We need more people in our jobs. We need more people in our schools. We need more people who create wealth. We need more people solving Alaska’s problems and the world’s problems. We need more families achieving the American dream. People are not a nebulous, abstract concept. People are what this is all about. Everything we do here is for the people, or it should be.”

Dunleavy observed that there will be “no tomorrow without people” and urged lawmakers to help him enact policies that are “pro-children, pro-mothers, pro-fathers, pro-family.”

He then touched on what is becoming a growing challenge in Alaska, the increasing lack of families and children.

“I know this might sound strange to some,” Dunleavy said, “but we have to make it okay, again, to have families. To put a family together and to have children.”

“We can’t allow government policies and attitudes to box young people into a corner where they believe there’s no hope, there’s no chance, and there’s no purpose to having kids and forming a family,” he said. “We’ve been fed a narrative over the years, that ultimately – conclusively – if followed to its logical conclusion, leads to our own demise. We’ve been fed a false narrative that you can have it all, as long as you don’t have children and maybe a family.”

Dunleavy said he wants his policies to “reject that narrative.”

“Kids give us hope. They are the future,” he emphasized. “They give us something to live for beyond ourselves. Kids are a blessing, and they shouldn’t be viewed as a burden. But we all have to accept that raising a family today is more challenging than when many of us were growing up.”

Due to inflation and the rising costs of housing, food and energy, Dunleavy said many young people are now thinking twice about forming families and raising children. This trend, he said, must be tackled with policies that improve health care for families and provide economic opportunities that create a climate which supports families.

“Through the actions we take together, when people ask which of the 50 states values children and families the most from the moment of conception on, I hope they say Alaska,” he said. “That’s my goal and I hope it is yours as well. If it isn’t, then what’s the point? Why are we here.”

He ended by urging lawmakers to focus their time in Juneau on promoting the value of “each individual life” and “supporting the next generation.”

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Dunleavy’s urges lawmakers to make Alaska ‘the most pro-life state’

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.


  • Jo Martin says:

    OMG he actually went there?! Wow, way to go Gov. Dunleavy!! I honestly didn’t think he had it in him…I stand corrected with a newfound respect for you, sir!! Now let’s see MORE of this from you please!!

    • Julie says:

      Let’s hope he has as much concern for the ‘already born’. We’ve got kids sleeping in OCS offices because there aren’t currently enough foster parents in Alaska. We’ve got kids who are homeless, kids who are abused/neglected by parents, kids who are victims of sexual violence from relatives and strangers. We also ‘educate’ our kids to a lower performance level than almost any other state, despite having one of the highest costs per student.
      How about we start by focusing on the existing problems, the kids we are failing to love and care for, before encouraging more babies just because ‘we need more people’.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    It sure took you long enough Governor Dunleavy, to finally show you have a few guts left. Now get rid of Dr. Ann Zink and we can have a state that people will want to stay in. We had enough Fauci for two years. Zink is his shadow. We need someone that will work with the people not against them. I didn’t get to hear your speech but by reading this article it sounds like you hit a home run. Now keep it up. Run fast. Let’s make Alaska great again!

  • Charlie Bussell says:

    Maybe this second term will give the Governor some real convictions and he will mean what he says and do what he says he will ….I certainly agree he needs to clean house a bit and a good start would be to send Dr. Zink packing,

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    People that got the jabs have a decreased chance of having children now. Sad that he says this now after running around the state encouraging all the natives to get their shots! Well, later is better then never I suppose. I am glad that we have a new Lt. Governor. I hope that she is the powerful conservative influence to help Dunleavy make decisions that support humanity instead of destroying it.

  • Michael Hughes says:

    Praise the Lord!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    What dunleavy really appears to support is not pro life but instead pro communist

  • Shelia says:

    I watched the state of the state speech and when the governor got to the point where he wanted to make Alaska safe for families and children it sounded exactly like the father of 3 girls that he is. He wants better schools and resources for children and a better atmosphere for families. It was the most beautiful part of his speech and came right from his heart. I pray that the legislature will be a help in this endeavor.

  • Matthew myers says:

    Thank you Governor for an excellent and public pro-life stance and speech. There is no reasonable way to not see in it a principled support of a good future for Alaska.

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Matthew Myers
      Talk is cheap, and is required for lying!
      Dunleavy is full of both! Actions produce believability! If dunleavy had a conviction about pro life, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect him to address the FACT that the pharmacy on every street corner is now an abortion clinic? How about that same pharmacy refusing to allow a drug like ivermectin to be used for death prevention of Covid?
      Bazaar Matthew is your blind to the obvious!

      • Matthew Myers says:

        You are so right! Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good has always been a great strategy for defending life. SMH!

  • Matthew myers says:

    (Now seriously, it’s time to get rid of that leftist hack, Zink. My son Kolbe is a EMT and working towards paramedic. Because of Zink and her clot shot extremism, Kolbe can’t train above EMT to paramedic up here. And when he makes paramedic, he won’t be able share his lifesaving skills up here in Alaska because of a useless and dangerous clot shot mandate for paramedics. There are undoubtedly other ways that she is blocking good things for Alaska. Enough is enough. Dump Zink. She has been and is hurting Alaska and Alaskans.)

  • Matthew myers says:

    Now it’s time to get rid of that leftist, Anne Zink. She is against the steps necessary to realize your goals. This includes her insistence on mandates for the dangerous and ineffective clot shot (including for paramedics, which drives good paramedics out of the state).

    • Matthew myers says:

      Boy, don’t I look a bit redundant. The part of the Alaska Watchman comment section that makes one wait for moderation of comments with no reminder doesn’t let you know whether the comment was passed on or if it is still pending.

  • Matt Johnson says:

    He knows putting it in the Legislature’s court means nothing will happen. He’s always talked a good game; I want to see him act.

    • Matthew myers says:

      I am interested in knowing what, within the boundaries of state law, he is able to do without the legislature.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Matthew Myers
    You are obviously confused and conflicted! There are many like you! Take a deep breath, clear your mind and ask this question, why does Dunleavy embrace Zinc and her deadly ideology?