ANCHORAGE – Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) today announced the endorsement of Senator Mark Begich for Governor of Alaska.
Statement from Jessica Cler, Alaska Public Affairs Manager:
“Begich is a champion for reproductive health and rights, and Planned Parenthood Votes is proud to support his run for Governor of Alaska. As we lead the charge against attacks on health care access and reproductive rights, we know Begich will stand strong in his leadership on important issues for women and families.
“Trump’s administration has rolled out policy after policy undermining our basic rights and freedoms, and we need a leader of this state who will fight back. There is too much at stake.
“Begich recognizes attacking health care and reproductive rights is a lose-lose for the people of Alaska. We must elect leaders who will create jobs, strengthen the economy, and protect our values, and Begich is that candidate. We have to keep fighting to make sure everyone gets the health care they need, without politicians controlling when, how, or why. We urge supporters of Planned Parenthood’s patients and providers across the state to join us in working to elect Begich as Governor in 2018.”
The difference between the candidates for Governor could not be more clear: Begich respects women to make their own health care decisions and will advance policies to move Alaska women and families forward. On the other hand, Governor Bill Walker has shown he will pick and choose when he will stand up for health care access. He has declared his anti-choice beliefs and taken action to chip away at abortion access. State Senator Mike Dunleavy is committed to eliminating Planned Parenthood, has compared Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan, wouldn’t denounce a candidate to replace him who compared women to dogs, and will decide what Alaska women do with their bodies.
- Governor Walker and State Senator Dunleavy will continue to chip away at abortion access in the state. “His administration has sought to defend a 2013 law that would limit Medicaid funding for abortions, State Sen. Dunleavy supported this legislation too, to cases where it’s medically necessary as defined by a list of ailments approved by the Alaska Legislature…” [7/12/18; The Midnight Sun]
- Governor Walker failed Alaska youth, and will continue to limit access to comprehensive, medically accurate sex ed. Governor Walker failed to show leadership by supporting dangerous restrictions on sex education that became law in 2016. HB 156 was and is a crushing blow for comprehensive and medically accurate sex education in Alaska and his lack of action put the education of thousands of teens in Alaska at risk, elevating sex education to the most scrutinized subject in the state. [7/28/2016; Anchorage Daily News]
- Governor Walker continues to take a hard stance against LGBTQ rights. Governor Walker refused to sign on in support of marriage equality and instead supported same-sex marriage bans. “The decision to join the brief brought outcry within Alaska's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which expressed frustrations over the state's actions and specifically over campaign promises made by Walker indicating he would review and possibly decline appealing the case that overturned Alaska's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban in October.” [9/28/2016; Anchorage Daily News]
- Governor Walker praises anti-choice advocates. ‘“Gov. Bill Walker praised Alaska’s pro-life advocates for their work, stating that “all life is precious and singular.” In a statement read by a representative from his office,” [1/2015; Catholicanchor.org]
- State Senator Dunleavy denies Alaska women and families access to Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services. When SB 89 stalled in 2016, he infamously inserted the Planned Parenthood language into the Alaska Safe Children’s Act, also known as Erin’s Law, which would have increased sexual assault awareness education for Alaska students. This effort ultimately failed. In 2016, he pulled out the Planned Parenthood language in SB 89 to create a new bill, SB 191 that somehow even more overtly targets Planned Parenthood.
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