As you take up the duties of governance in this new year, it is fitting to recall that the spiritual calendar marks the return of the Magi from Bethlehem, heeding God’s warning to return by a new route in order to avoid Herod, awaiting their news of the Christ-child with murderous intent. The spiritual descendants of Herod similarly await your work in the 33rd Legislature’s second session. No doubt, many expect you to return by way of compliance or even complicity with their plans to craft ordinances establishing legal impunity and even providing public funds for the vicious destruction of unborn children. After all, with relatively few brave exceptions, Alaskan legislators have done so for over 50 years.

The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream with instructions to arise in the night, “take the Child and His Mother, and flee into the land of Egypt, for Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him.” Such a warning is not necessary to know the awful danger to unborn children in Alaska today.

Why then has there been no stirring, no new energy among those who profess pro-life principles, no change in Alaska’s official no-holds-barred stance toward direct abortion, even after Dobbs has proclaimed that Emperor Roe has no clothes?

Partly no doubt, because some professedly pro-life legislators are not genuine, certainly not those who rushed to form Republican-majority-killing coalitions with their pro-abortion peers in last year’s first session after Dobbs. However, the fundamental cause must be that so many Americans no longer understand the self-evident truths on which our Constitution is founded: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men….”

Murder of any human being, born or unborn, is a violation of Natural Law on which this country is founded. Therefore, states have not only a right but a duty to abolish all direct abortion without exception.

The New Year’s Day editorial of the Alaska Watchman points out the logical conclusion: since our human rights are endowed by our Creator – and hence inalienable – therefore governments can only uphold or violate these rights; they cannot remove them because they did not invent them. (In pursuit of ‘Happiness’ this New Year)

The U.S. Constitution was crafted to secure every human being’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Roe denied that obvious truth. Dobbs affirmed it with these words: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision…” (Majority Opinion, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, June 24, 2022)

Dobbs gets rid of the specter of pro-abortion judicial overreach that has haunted Pro-Lifers for 50 years: the right to abolish abortion “belongs to the people and their representatives.”

Murder of any human being, born or unborn, is a violation of Natural Law on which this country is founded. Therefore, states have not only a right but a duty to abolish all direct abortion without exception. Thank God, the Constitution of Alaska fully concurs with Natural Law:

We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska. …. This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry; that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law; and that all persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to the State.

Either every life is sacred, or they are not all sacred. A single exception gives away the principle.

For several years, the Alaska legislature has had at hand the Life at Conception Act (LCA), which upholds the right to life of every Alaskan without exception, including both the mother and the unborn child. That is, the LCA acknowledges that it is morally licit for the mother of an unborn child to receive necessary life-saving treatments, such as radiation therapy, even though the treatment may indirectly cause the death of her unborn son or daughter as an unintended but unavoidable side-effectSuch treatments are not abortions and have always been recognized as morally legitimate applications of the Natural Law principles of double effect, and the equally inalienable right to life of both mother and unborn child. The death which results as a side-effect of such real & necessary treatments has classically been termed an “indirect abortion,” to distinguish it from “direct abortion,” which by definition is the entirely avoidable and direct destruction of an unborn human being.

Direct abortion is never health care. It is never required by nor contributes to the life-saving treatments the mother of an unborn child may require. In fact, abortion always causes profound harm to her physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Blurring the distinction between direct and indirect abortion has been a most successful red-herring which pro-abortion forces have used since the very beginning of their attack on women and children. They have been largely successful in drawing pro-lifers off the trail toward no-exception protection of the unborn, because so many pro-lifers fail to distinguish direct abortion from a spontaneous or “indirect” abortion (miscarriage), which results as an unavoidable side-effect of real treatment.

Either every life is sacred, or they are not all sacred. A single exception gives away the principle. Legislation must make the distinctions necessary to protect every human life without exception, and the Life at Conception Act does just that.

We must all renew the resolve that Lincoln called for at Gettysburg, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom,” and that the dead of our current civil war shall not have died in vain.

Your role is to stand firm in the executive and legislative branches, and welcome the challenges of Herod’s judicial allies as a confirmation case for the Supreme Court of our state and our nation.

We electors must pray, and sacrifice our time and attention toward systematically removing legislators who prove themselves practical allies of Herod. Pro-life sentiments are not enough. Understanding of and ability to apply the basic principles of Natural Law government are both essential requirements for the exercise of public office; those who can only contribute a mute and passive disapproval of legalized murder must be replaced with those who can and will go on the offensive to protect the unborn and their mothers from direct abortion.

A Life at Conception Act must be endorsed and actively supported as a united front this session and every session as long as it takes to conform Alaskan law to the U.S. Constitution and to the Alaskan Constitution, which confirms the right to life of all Alaskans, and ultimately to Natural Law itself.

In this way Alaska can make fitting reparation for our no-holds-barred policy toward the unborn even before Roe and after Dobbs. It is terribly late, but better late than never.

The Incarnation indicates God’s unfathomable mercy. In this 2024th Year of the Lord’s Nativity, let us trust enough in that mercy to jump the tracks of our downward spiral and return by a new way to this legislative year. The judicial highwaymen have been outlawed. We have a clear map; our nation’s founding documents, with “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” as their key.

This is the proper key by which to measure all our legislation, and it makes crystal clear the inalienable rights of every human being, without exception or condition, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of true happiness.


— Click here to read the Life at Conception Act, which is currently sitting in the House Health & Social Services Committee.

— Click here to contact members of the House Health & Social Social Services Committee.

— Click here to contact Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Open letter to Gov. Dunleavy and pro-life Alaska legislators

Therese Syren
Therese Syren is a long-time pro-life advocate in Alaska who helped found a local sidewalk counseling outreach outside an Anchorage abortion clinic. She holds a Master's Degree in Catholic Theology and a Pontifical Catechetical Diploma.


  • RK says:

    Yes! Thank you for writing this!

  • Lucinda says:

    Ms Syren: no matter the content, which by the way I felt was compelling, it’s better to use fewer words. Everyone is busy. Making it easy for your audience to understand you and (this is important) recite your concerns in one sentence, pretty much guarantees that your main concern will reach its intended audience.

    Though for me, an atheist, your appeal to your god means little to me. What IS important though is to answer the question, when does a cell mass become a human with rights and responsibilities ?

    • Dee Cee says:

      The mental vacuity that you consistently display is so consistent, Lucinda. A compelling argument made, but rejected because it’s just too long. Incredible reasoning, Chica! Aristotle would be so proud!

      • Dee Cee says:

        Revise consistently consistent! Maybe I’ll say “the vacuity you consistently display is so predictable.” It would be great if you could thread more than two linear points of reasoning together into a cogent stream of thought. But asking you to think deeply beyond 42 characters on TwitterX would be too much to ask.

        There! Insult perfected

      • Lucinda says:

        She wrote a lot of words to say a title. I asked about the crucial answer to when life with human rights and responsibilities begins. But you call that mental vacuity.

    • Toscano says:

      if you want to know when human life begins, please take notes. I hope it is not too hard for you. Here are the established facts: EVERY human cell has 46 chromosomes: skin cells, blood cells, saliva cells, bone cells, liver cells, etc. EXCEPT our reproductive cells, which have 23. But when sperm and ovum unite, BINGO! We now have 46. Oh, and gender has just been instantly determined. As the conceived HUMAN BEING grows, all subsequent cells with have 46 chromosomes. And we have observed that a tiny flash of light occurs at this union. Is this short enough for you? Your religion is science, which usually cannot keep things brief or simple, but this one is. If you want more information, that is up to you.

      • Lucinda says:

        Toscano. My religion is NOT science. I have no religion. I hate it when religionists make that assertion. Religion does not require evidence and science certainly does. What you fail to address is the “rights and responsibilities” part of my comment. I heard this concern best summed up by a story(maybe true) of a pregnant woman pulled over for having only herself in the HOV lane (where two people are required). She claimed that her fetus was passenger two. She was ticketed.

    • Kristina says:

      No one is actually an atheist. In order to, you must deny the existence of the Creator of all Life and in turn, deny the very breath you take which sustains the life of the body. It’s merely the mind that is distorted against its own self following a lie that no God of Life exists. Yet the very ones who deny this, will go to great lengths to sustain their body from perishing. Whether it be injecting lab created bio tech pharmaceuticals into their body believing it’s health, fighting to kill those who have no way of speaking for themselves in a woman’s womb, or demanding all must bow to governments in order to be a very safe slave, still breathing the air and saying there is no Natural Law of Life Principal nor God who established it would require those to stop submitting to the Elements of Life.

      For the question when a cell becomes a human? As if all cells have the same structure code It’s the same as when an apple seed becomes a tree. It’s perfectly designed already from the beginning of its conception Authored by the One way more intelligent and giving then some opinion that is comparable to a passing fart.

  • Joel says:

    Dear Therese, here in the US we have this little thing called freedom of religion. You might of heard of it , it’s enshrined in the constitution, you practice yours, I practice mine, but at the end of the day you don’t get to shove your beliefs down the throats of other people.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Thank you for the well-written article Ms. Syren. Very much appreciated and I, wholeheartedly, agree. One thing that you repeated several times that sticks out for me: “Either every life is sacred, or they are not all sacred.” I looked at the members of the House Health & Social Social Services Committee and there are a couple that I do not know, but the rest of them sure seem to be selling out humanity without a care as long as they are getting theirs. Nearly every AK Legislation House and Senate Rep has sold out Alaskans. I don’t know what the deal is – either they got caught making shady deals or maybe they are involved in porn or the sex-trafficking business here OR they are just filled with greed and lust. I am glad that Alaskans are waking up. I would really love to see us change our processes so that if our Reps sell us out just as soon as they get into office (Sumner and Wilson for example), they can be fired on the spot and replaced immediately. Our reps work for us – not for themselves or for the globalists. For those of us who are awake: keep pressing on legally and lawfully and with God Almighty’s word in your heart and mind. Prayers for everyone in this fight against good and evil.

  • jon says:

    Women should control their own bodies, it’s none of your business.

    • Gail McBride says:

      Yes, they should, and if they did we would not be killing millions of babies. The baby’s body is not the woman’s body.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Well Jon control your keyboard mouth !