Sens. Sullivan and Murkowski Disappoint Alaska and the Nation with Their Votes to Confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court
For Immediate Release: Oct. 26, 2020 (Updated: Oct. 26, 2020, 6 p.m.)
Anchorage, AK — Statement from Jessica Cler, Alaska State Director at Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i:
"People in Alaska and across the country are deeply disappointed in Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski for casting their final votes in support of Amy Coney Barrett to fill a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court. Sens. Sullivan and Murkowski voted to confirm a nominee who poses a direct threat to reproductive health and rights and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“We have come to expect votes like this from Sen. Sullivan, but would hope for more from Sen. Murkowski, who initially stated she wouldn’t vote for the nominee until after the election and then proceeded to do just that.
“The fact is, Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan took part in an illegitimate and rushed process in the middle of an election, while the country is responding to a deadly pandemic. This was not a process with “decorum and fairness” as Sen. Murkowski has called for in previous confirmation hearings.
“This confirmation will come with severe consequences. Judge Barrett has publicly criticized both former Supreme Court decisions upholding the ACA. If the ACA is dismantled, 75,000 Alaskans will lose insurance in the middle of a pandemic. Meanwhile, access to abortion is hanging on by a thread across the country for too many people — specifically BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities forced to navigate a legacy of systemic racism and discriminatory policies. Judge Barrett is an active and vocal threat to reproductive health and rights, including birth control, and has suggested that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Yet Barrett doesn't need to vote to overturn Roe, despite Sen. Murkowski’s beliefs, to cause grave damage to the reproductive rights of Alaskans. With17 abortion-related cases just one step away from the Court, Judge Barrett could join a majority and render Roe meaningless without overturning it.
“Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i will continue to fight against attacks on reproductive health care, and health care access for people all across Alaska. We will also keep fighting to elect reproductive health champions who protect our rights and liberties.”
Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i (PPVNH) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization educating residents and policy-makers about reproductive health issues in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Hawaiʻi. PPVNH lobbies and educates to advance Planned Parenthood's mission and also engages in limited electoral activities.