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ANCHORAGE, AK — Abortion has quickly become a top issue leading up to the 2022 midterm election and rightfully so, but this November has even more at stake with attacks on minorities and the medical field coming from Alaska extremist candidates. 

Current and prospective Alaska lawmakers have repeatedly stood in the way of beneficial bills as well as brought forward harmful bills for people who can get pregnant, the LGBTQ+ community and education workers in the last two years. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka called for banning sending Plan B or “the morning after” pill through the mail in a video that resurfaced in May 2022, while a bill offering 12 months of birth control coverage got voted down in the House (HB 58). 

Sarah Vance has also made her politics known by voting against a bill to protect LGBTQ+ people in the House (HB 17) and co-sponsoring for a bill that would ban trans youth from participating in sports with their peers, modeled after similar bans around the country (HB 230; SB 140).

Additionally, Bart LeBon and Mia Costello have a track record of voting to prohibit state funding for abortion care (HB 69HB 281), stripping Alaskans with low incomes of their right to fundamental, basic health care. In our schools, Bart LeBon also voted against prohibiting racial discrimination in school dress codes (SB 174) - a vote that should be a no-brainer for any caring member of a community. 

These votes show us where these candidates’ values lie and they are not with the people of Alaska. At every step, these representatives are inserting their own beliefs into personal medical decisions that should be left up to the individual. This is dangerous, irresponsible, and unacceptable. 

“Extremist candidates are doing everything in their power to harm the underrepresented constituents who need support the most,” said Rose O'Hara-Jolley, Alaska State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “Under their control, we could very easily see drastic, harmful changes in our day-to-day life here in Alaska. We refuse to give in to their hate and contempt for pregnant people, LGBTQ people and disregard for people within the medical community, and we must fight attempts to restrict our rights tooth and nail.”