This election cycle is upsetting for me. As an Alaskan woman who votes, I’m fed up with politicians who say they want “small government” but propose intrusive regulations about women’s health. My body is not something to be regulated or intruded upon, especially under the guise of “freedom.”
I don’t trust politicians who sacrifice women’s health and women’s rights for partisan gain. Anyone who sacrifices my individual freedoms like that isn’t representing all of Alaska.
Dan Sullivan recently survived a nasty primary and will be the Republican candidate for Senate. Sullivan is little-known in Alaska because he’s a native of Ohio, but his positions on women’s rights are extreme and out of touch with our support for personal privacy.
Dan Sullivan said he believes “life begins at conception.”
That policy would criminalize some common forms of contraception and abortion. It would even make the morning-after pill and emergency contraception illegal. The Alaska Constitution respects privacy and women’s right to make their own health decisions. I don’t want a senator who would let the federal government have a say in my health decisions.
Dan Sullivan endorsed the controversial Hobby Lobby decision, which lets bosses deny basic reproductive health coverage for their employees. This policy makes no sense: Why would I tolerate my boss having any say about my reproductive health decisions?
Dan Sullivan would vote to cut off funding for breast and ovarian cancer screenings, contraception and other basic health care — simply because those services are provided by Planned Parenthood. This important access should be supported no matter what.
Dan Sullivan doesn’t even stand on the side of women who are victims of domestic violence in Alaska. He won’t state his support of the amendments to the Violence Against Women Act — that would assure that Alaskan Native women in tribes (not just reservations) would still have protection.
These anti-woman policies are all radical and indefensible on their face. Yet they are even more extreme when compared to our current Senate delegation’s positions.
Sen. Mark Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski opposed Hobby Lobby and support contraception. They voted for the Violence Against Women Act and are supporting legislation to close the Alaska loophole. They support a woman’s right to choose. Their votes are totally different from the anti-woman positions of Dan Sullivan.
I am proud of Alaska’s tradition of recognizing rights of all citizens, including women. Let’s continue to respect those rights by rejecting Dan Sullivan’s anti-privacy, anti-liberty, anti-woman agenda.
• Laura Herman is a Young Democratic volunteer.