Just Answers: Where Alaska’s US House candidates stand on a federal abortion law

People hold signs saying "pro choice" and "regulate guns, not uteri"
In Homer, the afternoon march drew about 400 people and many had the same message: Abortion is health care. (Hope McKenney/KBBI)

To help Alaskans sort through the candidates running for the state’s sole U.S. House seat, we’re asking each candidate where they stand on the issues.

Here’s how they responded, in their own words, to the following question about abortion laws:

Should Congress pass an abortion bill and if so, what should it say? (Please limit your answer to 50 words.) 

Sarah Palin (R): “No.”

Nick Begich III (R): “I am pleased that the Supreme Court has returned responsibility to individual states in accordance with the 10th Amendment’s enumerated powers clause. Legislative action will now be predominantly determined by state legislatures and governors, subject to judicial review within each state.”

Mary Peltola (D): “Women should have the right to make decisions about their own health and bodies. As the only pro-choice candidate in this election, I unequivocally support legislation codifying the right to a safe / legal abortion. Everyone deserves quality healthcare, I will work to enshrine protections for womens reproductive health into law.”

Tara Sweeney (R): “I would vote to codify Roe v. Wade if that was the only intent of the legislation. For example, I could support the proposal put forward by Senators Murkowski and Collins, since it provides the same protections as Roe v. Wade.”  

Jay Armstrong (R): “NO. Where in Our Constitution for the US does it empower “Give an inch, take a mile crooked Congress” the power to deal with this State and Individual issue? SCOTUS Marbury v Madison “An act of Congress not Constitutional is null and void” Congress is out of control.”

Gregg Brelsford (undeclared): My conservative campaign principles are freedom, fairness, faith, and family.  People who want individual liberty and freedom in their own lives (no masks, vaccines, etc.) should respect this in women’s freedom over their lives. I do not support abortion as birth control but support this liberty for individual women.

John Richard Meyers (Libertarian): “Yes, Congress should pass an abortion bill saying human life begins at conception.  Inalienable rights exist then.  The unborn are people, and deserve to be regarded as such with full human rights, the first of which is Life!  The first job of government is to protect innocent human life.”

Lady Donna Dutchess (nonpartisan): “No.  Each state should have the right to decide on abortions.”

Ted Heintz (nonpartisan): “The Supreme Court ruled this a state issue. Congress, if acting lawfully, could seek Constitutional amendment. Birth control should be FREE & adoptions FREE as well. The life/safety of the mother must be prioritized in those rare cases of necessity. Rape victims should have a morning after pill option.”

These candidates will be on the regular primary ballot but Alaska Public Media has not yet received a response to our emails: Chris Bye, Heed Hughes, Robert Lyons, Robert Ornelas, Silvio Pellegrini, A.H. Phelps, Randy Purham, Sherry Strizak and Denise Williams.

Read how candidates responded to questions on President Biden’s election, assault weapons and developing Alaska’s natural resources.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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