Alaska Pro-Life Senate Candidate Gets Right to Life Backing
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 1, 2004
Anchorage, AK (LifeNews.com) — A U.S. Senate candidate in Alaska has received a critical pro-life endorsement. Alaska Right to Life has announced it will back Mike Miller’s bid for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Miller told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner newspaper that the stamp of approval from Alaska Right to Life should help his prospects in the August GOP primary.
"They (Alaska Right to Life) are very heavily involved in the state. They have some 60,000 people on their mailing list," Miller told the newspaper.
The executive director of the group, that opposes abortion, euthanasia, and human cloning, Karen Vosburgh, believes residents of the nation’s 49th state are increasingly opposed to abortion. Seventy-seven percent of the candidates with Alaska Right to Life’s endorsement won the last state elections.
A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Alaska Advocates attempted to dismiss the endorsement.
"Choice is not a top issue when it comes to voters," Anna Franks told the News-Miner. "They’re interested in taxes, they’re interested in education for their children."
Miller’s opponent also tried to downplay the endorsement.
"The majority of Alaskans are not single issue," Murkowski told the News-Miner. Some Alaskans vote solely based on a candidate’s abortion views, "but that is a very small minority," she added.
However, pro-life leaders note that recent elections have proven that the pro-life vote can make a difference. Pro-life voters were credited with nearly unseating pro-abortion U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. And President George W. Bush’s successful bid for the White House was due, in part, to voters who supported his pro-life positions.
Pro-abortion forces have already endorsed former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, the leading Democratic candidate. Knowles has the nod from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the pro-abortion group NARAL.
While Miller, a former state senator from North Pole, has a strong pro-life position, Murkowski’s votes on abortion have been mixed. Murkowski, for instance, voted for an amendment upholding Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion.
She has also supported overseas organizations that promote abortion. Her overall pro-life voting record is 82 percent, according to a National Right to Life scorecard.
While serving in the state legislature, Murkowski voted against a bill that would have provided a stricter definition of "medically necessary" abortions.
Still, Murkowski has embraced the "pro-life" label, touting her vote against partial-birth abortion and her opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions.
But Miller questions the Senator’s commitment to the pro-life cause.
"It looks to me like this (abortion) is an issue where she is trying to walk the middle, and this is an issue you can’t walk the middle on," Miller has been quoted as saying.
Murkowski is expected to outspend Miller. The incumbent Senator has already raised nearly $2.5 million, while Miller has said he only expects to spend $500,000 total.
Miller was first elected to the state House in 1982, then went onto a career in the state Senate. He served as Senate President in 1997 and 1998.