A Word From Our NewVice President of Operations
The 2023 legislative session is well underway; in fact, we’re approaching the halfway mark, which gives us the opportunity to let you know how Alaska Family Council is advocating for our shared values.Some of these bills are yet to be introduced. Some are still waiting for committee hearings. Others are in the legislative hopper right now and need attention. From us and from you. Stand by for specific Action Alerts about individual bills. Here’s a quick summary of some of what we’re focused on :
Protect Women’s Sports. The news stories are continual about biological men who self-identify as women and compete in athletic events as women against true biological women. The absurdity of this phenomenon is obvious, frustrating, and patently unfair. Women’s sports have come a long way in the 50 years since Title IX became federal law. Competitiveness and the level of excellence in women’s sports has exploded as female participation in organized sports increased 900 percent since 1972. But now, the movement that advocated for women’s sports is threatened by a contra-movement that is advocating for biological men to compete as women, and it is making a mockery of women’s sports.
We are supporting legislation to save women’s sports in Alaska. Such legislation was introduced in 2022 as Senate Bill 140, but, unbelievably, it did not garner enough support to push it through. We are encouraging the bill to be introduced again in 2023, in both the Senate and the House.
Abortion Pills and Access by Minors. House Bill 17 is being sponsored by a large contingent of far-left legislators seeking to mandate contraceptive coverage by insurance programs. While Alaska Family Council does not oppose contraceptives per se, we are against abortifacients; that is, pills that do not prevent fertilization but prevent a fertilized egg – a human embryo – from attaching to the uterine wall. This proposed legislation groups these pills as “over-the-counter emergency contraception,” when they do not, in fact, prevent conception.
Not only would insurance companies be required to provide these abortifacients, but the bill would also require coverage and reimbursement for dependents. That means these abortion pills would be available to minors. In 2010, Alaska Family Council led a successful statewide initiative requiring abortionists to notify parents or legal guardians of a minor seeking to end the life of their unborn child. The Alaska Supreme Court overturned that law.If HB 17 were to pass, the parents of a dependent minor would be required to pay for an abortifacient that would take the life of their pre-born grandchild.
Lastly, House Bill 17 offers a very narrow exemption for religious organizations who object to paying for abortions and other services find objectionable. For example, a church may be exempt while a Christian bookstore would not be exempt.
Parental Rights. Governor Dunleavy proposed a bill to ensure parents have the right to be informed if their child is being referred to by a name other than their given name, or pronouns different than their biological sex. In other words, if Susan (a biological girl) decides she wants to be known as Sam and go by he/him pronouns, Susan’s parents must be notified about this. Senate Bill 96, also says that a child’s physical, medical, or mental health information may not be withheld from the child’s parents, and that locker rooms and restrooms are separated by biological sex. It is maddeningly remarkable that we have come to a point in our society that laws need to be passed to ensure parents – not schools – have primary responsibility for their children, and that boys shall only be allowed in boys’ locker rooms, but that is where we are at . . . and that is why Alaska Family Council exists.This proposed legislation,
Sex Education. As long as we’re discussing children and sex, let’s take a look at what Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson introduced: SB43, a bill that requires sex education classes to be taught to students starting in kindergarten. The curriculum for this bill is based on the National Sex Education Standards, which redefines marriage, family, and gender, and teaches abortion as a parenting option. Again, parental rights are under assault as far left idealogues attempt to impose their moral standards ahead of family standards. Alaska’s students consistently rank at the bottom in national test scores, so our schools should be concentrating on teaching educational fundamentals – reading, writing, and arithmetic – not social engineering.
Conversion Therapy. In yet another piece of legislation that challenges credulity, Representatives Hannan, Armstrong, Mina, and Mears are taking the fight against traditional family and common sense even further by introducing House Bill 43. If made law, this piece of legislation would make it illegal to counsel a minor (that is, a person under the age of 18) to resist homosexual – or an array of feelings other than straight heterosexual – attraction. It won’t be illegal to counsel, or even perform gender transitioning surgery, on a youngster who wants to change sexes, but it will be against the law to counsel a child who is fighting same-sex attraction and is actually seeking help. Talk about interference in a doctor-patient relationship !
Selection of Judges. Senator Mike Shower of Wasilla continues to work towards a better judicial system; this time by introducing SB31, which calls for changing the selection process for Magistrates as well as Appellate and District Court judges. Magistrates currently serve at the pleasure of their Superior Court judges, while the Appellate and District Court judges go through the same selection process as our Superior and Supreme Court justices; that is, the governor may select from nominees presented to him by a Judicial Council that is dominated by the Alaska Bar Association. Senate Bill 31 will make the process more democratic, giving the governor the ability to appoint candidates and have those candidates vetted by the legislature.
Our Promise to You. Alaska Family Council will continue to monitor these bills and keep you updated on developments. That is what we do. We want you to be informed, and we encourage you to take action on the issues that concern you the most. Contact your legislators, testify during committee hearings, attend town hall meetings, and pray for Divine guidance and courage for our elected officials.
Lastly, please keep Alaska Family Council in your prayers. The tide is turning in our country and state, and we can fight this onslaught from leftist idealogues. We appreciate your support. If you appreciate our work, please consider a financial investment today. Thank you and God bless you.
Tim Barto – VP of Operations Alaska Family Council firstname.lastname@example.org