Alaska legislators respond to Roe v. Wade reversal

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:26 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Legislators and politicians from Alaska reacted to the Supreme Court’s reversal of its Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, June 24.

Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski both released statements about the decision.

Sullivan expressed support for the ruling, arguing it returns the decision of how to regulate the practice to the states and their representatives.

As a pro-life Catholic, Sullivan says he will “continue to support legislation protecting the most vulnerable in society, including by expanding quality child care and opportunities for adoption.”

Murkowski, meanwhile, opposes the decision. In a statement, the senator says she supports reproductive freedom, including abortions up to fetal viability, and believes federal law should include these protections.

She says the rights conferred by Roe v. Wade that “women have relied on for decades -- most notably a woman’s right to choose -- are now gone or threatened in many states.”

In Alaska, the State Supreme Court has previously ruled that the right to privacy, as enshrined in the state’s constitution, includes the right to an abortion.

However, this year, as happens every ten years, Alaskans will vote on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention, in which the text of the whole document would be up for debate, including the status of abortion.

Groups around the State of Alaska have called for a convention, some with the express purpose of, among other things, ending abortion in Alaska.

Governor Dunleavy released a statement affirming his pro-life position and says this decision is an opportunity for Alaskans to decide abortion’s future in the state.

The governor says he will be “proposing a constitutional amendment to the legislature in the next session to answer the question whether abortion shall, or not be a constitutionally protected right.”

When asked for clarification on whether this amendment would seek a ban on abortions or merely clarification, the governor’s office said more information would be available when the resolution is drafted.

A group of Democrats in the Alaska Senate, meanwhile, have condemned the decision in a press release Friday afternoon.

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