Alaska Supreme Court Forces State to Fund Abortions, Governor Cut Its Budget to Pay for Them

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 5, 2019   |   6:20PM   |   Juneau, Alaska

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took action against activist judges in his state this summer, cutting their budget because they support the killing of unborn babies.

The AP reports Dunleavy line-item vetoed a budgeted $334,700 for the Alaska Supreme Court on June 28. The dollar amount is the same that the state was forced to spend on abortions in 2018, according to the report.

The Republican governor said he decided to make the cut after the Alaska Supreme Court reaffirmed a ruling in February that forces state taxpayers to pay for abortions through Medicaid.

Alaska is one of 16 states that forces taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in their state Medicaid programs. Some, like Alaska, are mandated by court orders, while others choose to voluntarily.

“The Legislative and Executive Branch are opposed to State-funded elective abortions,” the governor said in his veto statement, KTUU News reports. “[T]he only branch of government that insists on State-funded elective abortions is the Supreme Court. The annual cost of elective abortions is reflected by this reduction.”

Jim Minnery, executive director of the Alaska Family Council, said the Alaska Supreme Court has a “long history of extremist rulings on abortion.”

“But until today, they never suffered any real consequences for it,” he said in a statement. “Every dollar the state spends on killing unborn children will be cut from their budget.”

Minnery praised the governor for taking a bold step to protect state taxpayers from funding abortions.

“Faced with a court order to continue paying for abortions, Governor Dunleavy came up with a unique response. He decided that if liberal judges are going to demand subsidized abortions, the cost will come out of their budget,” he said.

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However, Minnery said the governor’s veto is not a long-term solution. To protect unborn babies and taxpayers, he said the state must amend its constitution to make it clear that there is no right to abortion or abortion funding. Last fall, West Virginia voters passed a similar pro-life constitutional amendment in their state after a court order forced them to fund elective abortions for years.

Margaret Newman, a spokesperson for the Alaska Court System, responded to the governor by arguing that the court system makes its rulings independent of current politics, according to the local news.

“Legislators, governors, and all other Alaskans certainly have the right to their own opinions about the constitutionality of government action, but ultimately it is the courts that are required to decide what the constitution mandates,” she said in a statement.

“We assure all Alaskans that the Alaska Court System will continue to render independent court decisions based on the rule of law, without regard to the politics of the day,” she continued.

A 2016, Politico/Harvard University poll found that just 36 percent of likely voters support taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent oppose it.

ACTION: Thank Gov. Dunleavy for his budget veto.