My Turn: Legislator is living in a world of euphemisms

Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2003

I read with great interest Rep. Andrew Halcro's My Turn article attacking pro-lifers for attempting to restrict use of public funds for abortion. He accuses fellow Republicans of passing a bill limiting abortion funding in spite of the fact they knew it was "unconstitutional."

I think Mr. Halcro should be a little more upfront about his personal interest in this issue. It is pertinent to this discussion for Mr. Halcro to inform the reader that his wife is the director of public affairs and marketing of Planned Parenthood of Alaska. When your wife is in the abortion business and you are voting on abortion funding, one might be excused for viewing this as a conflict of interest. After all, Planned Parenthood, the child of Margaret Sanger, who was a racist and eugenist, is a major provider of abortions in this country.

Claiming that abortion legislation is unconstitutional means little or nothing. Abortion supporters always and everywhere claim that abortion-related legislation is unconstitutional even when it does not restrict or limit abortion. It is one of their mantras. However, there is no constitutional right to kill anyone regardless of what our federal or state courts may say. One of the primary responsibilities of government is to protect innocent human life. Therefore, these court decisions should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Can you imagine the state of our society today where legislators say they vote for killing because not to do so violates our constitution?

In spite of all the decisions of Alaska's courts protecting abortion, the Alaska Legislature was able to restrict funding for FY 99, resulting in the saving of the lives of at least 400 babies. Those babies would have been killed under the state policy of paying for all welfare abortions that existed the prior year. That effort, according to the Alaska Supreme Court, was unconstitutional - but before the court was able to act, 400 babies escaped with their lives. That experience showed that it was worth continuing the effort to save more lives. The legislators conducting this honorable effort should be applauded, but in our upside down world, that is not the case when the issue is abortion.

Mr. Halcro tells us SB 364 was unconstitutional. This bill was, in fact, an effort to craft language that would pass the criteria of the Alaska Supreme Court. It was not the same legislation as the previous effort that was struck down by the court. Therefore, while Mr. Halcro may believe it was unconstitutional, it is disingenuous to state it as a fact because the court never had a chance to rule on it. It was vetoed by Gov. Knowles. Still it was worth a try - particularly in view of the previous success in saving some lives.

Finally, Mr. Halcro objects to the wording of a campaign letter that states that Lisa Murkowski supports policies that "Slaughter innocent children." He goes on to list a number of facts (mother of two, former PTA president, etc.) about Ms. Murkowski, which apparently are meant to show that the characterization can't be true. The accusation certainly sounds harsh, but if one puts aside the euphemisms, it is true. Abortion supporters necessarily live in a world of euphemisms and slogans when talking about abortion. Pro-lifers need not play that game. It does not serve the cause of informing people about the realities of abortion, which kills a child in the womb. If a legislator votes to fund abortion, then that person cannot escape the accusation of supporting a policy that kills children.

Heidersdorf is a board member of Alaskans for Life Inc., a Juneau-based pro-life organization.

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