Last week, House lawmakers in Alaska approved a statewide operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that includes an amendment that defunds state-funded abortion services.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the amendment, which was introduced to the Alaska House of Representatives by Rep. Christopher Kurka (R-Wasilla), was the center of substantial debate among lawmakers, with many rising to speak for and against the $350,000 budget cut. In the end, the amendment passed 21-18 and will now advance to the Alaska Senate.
This is not the first time Alaska lawmakers have attempted to block state tax dollars from going towards abortion. Live Action News previously reported in 2019 that the Alaska state Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the state must fund them.
According to Alaska Right to Life, Alaska was among the first states to legalize abortion in 1970, three years before Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy in the United States, was decided. However, Alaska lawmakers continue to fight for the right to life of preborn children.
The budget bill arrives on the heels of the introduction of House Bill 206 by Kurka and Rep. David Eastman, (R-Wasilla). Also known as the Life at Conception Act or the Preborn 4 Child Equality Act of 2021, the legislation would ban abortion from the moment of fertilization.
“It’s time to stop being science deniers, to move out of the dark ages and update our laws to reflect current scientific knowledge,” said Kurka in a statement on the bill. “Those who persist in their advocacy for unconstitutional prerogatives granted under Roe v. Wade with appeal to science are modern day flat-earthers and do so without respect to reason or science.” Kurka emphasized that advancements in DNA and childhood development since 1973 make it impossible to continue to uphold the Roe v. Wade decision.
“This is no longer a dispute over science and law, it is science and morality versus power and political expediency,” Kurka said. “The United States Supreme Court has already judged the legal merits of Roe v. Wade, and therefore its outdated opinion is no longer valid. The case has collapsed, and there is no legal case for abortion, knowing what we know now.”
Kurka continued: “The only question left is whether we’re going to be honest with ourselves as a society and summon the will and moral courage to do what we know is right. Polling shows that the majority of Americans recognize the ineluctable reality of our position. Now it’s time to act.”
According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, there were four abortion clinics in Alaska in 2017 as well as two other medical facilities that commit abortions. There are four Planned Parenthood businesses in Alaska, all of which would stand to lose funding with this proposed budget cut.
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