U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan

Opinion: Planned Parenthood is wrong on Sullivan. He’s pro-life, but not anti-women.

Traditional Christian views are not out of the mainstream of thought.

  • By Ann Brown
  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019 12:26pm
  • Opinion

Planned Parenthood has attacked U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan for supporting bills that would protect an unborn child, arguably the most vulnerable life.

Good people can disagree about abortion, but voters knew that Sullivan was a pro-life Catholic when they voted for him. Traditional Christian views are not out of the mainstream of thought, however, what might come as a surprise are the details of the bills that he supported.

Ann Brown

Ann Brown

Planned Parenthood likes to gloss over horrifying details about late term abortion by making general claims that any restrictions on abortion services are restrictions on the autonomy of women. These details are worth a hard look.

Most recently, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was co-sponsored by Sullivan. It requires that a child born alive during an attempted abortion be given the same medical treatment as a child born naturally at the same point in a pregnancy.

All Republicans who were in Congress at the time voted for it. All Democrats except three voted against it.

The vote took place after Planned Parenthood-endorsed laws were passed in states that rolled back restrictions on late term abortions. When discussing a bill introduced in Virginia, Delegate Tran was clear that the bill would allow an abortion if the woman was about to give birth! “My bill would allow that,” she said.

The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Virginia called Tran a “champion for women in Virginia.

Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam described what would happen if, under that law, an infant managed to survive a late-term abortion: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

To be clear, he obfuscated about whether that infant would be killed.

Sullivan also recently co-sponsored a bill that would ban abortions after five months. The bill provides exceptions for cases where the mother’s life is threatened or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Planned Parenthood opposed this bill claiming that late term abortions are too rare to legislate — that they are done to protect the mother’s life or when the fetus isn’t viable.

It is hard to think of women in this situation, but hard cases make bad law. To prove that adage, Planned Parenthood’s statements are just flat false. According to available research, somewhere between 8,000 and 12,000 abortions occur in the U.S. after 21 weeks. It is a small percentage of the total number of abortions performed every year, but is roughly the same number of people who died on our roads in 2017 due to drunk driving. This statistic usually causes concern; the abortion number for Planned Parenthood, not so much.

This begs the question as to why women seek abortions so late in their pregnancies. The research is scarce, but Diana Greene Foster, the lead investigator on one of the largest studies on the issue, and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, shed light on this. She said that abortions for fetal anomaly “make up a small minority of later abortion.” She concluded that those abortions performed as a result of life endangerment are even harder to characterize. This is probably because modern medicine is so good at saving mothers and unborn babies.

We are left to conclude that just as there are women (and men) who are nonchalant about their children outside of the womb, there are women who are similarly indifferent about life inside the womb. These unborn children are the vulnerable lives, which deserve to be protected.

The solution is to help women to deal with these tough situations for which they are unprepared. What is not a solution is to kill a baby born alive as the result of a late term abortion or full term delivery because mom’s intent was to do so. This is outright murder. Infanticide (killing one’s own baby) is illegal just as is matricide (killing one’s own mother).

Planned Parenthood’s suggestion that Sullivan is against women because he supported protection for babies born alive is offensive to women who value innocent life. Instead, we should appreciate all that he is doing for women — such as working diligently to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.


• Ann Brown is the Vice Chair of the Alaska Republican Party and the Vice President of the Alaska Policy Forum. She has lived in Alaska for over 35 years. The views expressed are her own. My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


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