Alaska lawmakers want to get off the list of states that force taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions through Medicaid.
On Wednesday, state House lawmakers voted 21-18 in favor of a budget amendment to ban taxpayer funding for abortions through the government medical assistance program, KTTO News reports.
“The legislature has consistently said we don’t want to pay for abortions,” said state Rep. Christopher Kurka, R-Wasilla, who sponsored the amendment. “I think it’s high time to stop using intent language. We again, like last year, put this language in the budget to make it very clear that this body is not interested in paying for abortions.”
Alaska is one of 16 states that forces taxpayers to pay for elective abortions through Medicaid, according to the Guttmacher Institute. A few states choose to use tax dollars to pay for the killing of unborn babies, but others, like Alaska, are forced to do so by court orders.
Before voting on the amendment, state lawmakers recognized the threat of another lawsuit, but many, including state Rep. Kevin McCabe, R-Big Lake, expressed hope for a better outcome this time, the news report continues.
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“I don’t really care if we have to run it through courts 100 times,” McCabe said. “Let’s run it through the courts. Maybe we’ll get a different outcome.”
Taxpayers paid for 43 percent of the more than 1,200 abortions in 2021 in Alaska, according to state health statistics.
The state House has not voted on the final budget bill yet. When lawmakers do, the bill will move to the state Senate for consideration.
Polls consistently show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions. A 2021 Marist poll found 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S. Additionally, 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
ACTION ALERT: To support defunding abortion, Contact Alaska state lawmakers.