Kelly says that birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly

A few weeks ago, it was Sen. Fred Dyson, who said, among other things, that birth control was a “recreational drug.” Recently, Sen. Pete Kelly discussed the issue during an interview with Kyle Hopkins of the Anchorage Daily News about Kelly’s plan to provide state-funded pregnancy tests in bars as one way to try to combat Alaska’s sky-high rate of fetal alcohol syndrome. When Hopkins asked if the state should likewise provide birth control, Kelly said the following:

No, because the thinking is a little opposite. This assumes that if you know, you’ll act responsibly. Birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly. That’s—I’m not going to tell them what to do, or help them do it, that’s their business. But if we have a pregnancy test, because someone just doesn’t know. That’s probably a way we can help them.

When pushed, Kelly said that birth control is “social engineering that we don’t want to get into. All we want to do is make sure that people are informed and they’ll make the right decision.”

Earlier this month, the House Finance Committee passed a bill that limits state funded abortions for poor women. It also stripped money for family planning, including birth control, for poor women, 90 percent of which would have been paid for by the federal government. Sen. John Coghill, a conservative from Fairbanks who has long been fighting to end abortion, said that he didn’t support the family planning money because that money would make its way to Planned Parenthood, which supports “population control” rather than family planning.

Perhaps the bigger lesson here is that elections have consequences. Fairbanks decided to elect Pete Kelly over incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Paskvan, who declined to run on Kelly’s social conservatism.

Contact Amanda Coyne at 


7 thoughts on “Kelly says that birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly

  1. Martha

    Pete Kelly is a good person and lives his life iin accordance to his religious values. My views differ from Senator Kelly’s; nonetheless, I apprecviate enmcy and believe that he is a good representative of our state. It is time that we agrre to disagree at times on issues and find common ground on others to work positivey on. Yes, I am pro-choice and support Pete Kelly too. There are many other important issues that Senator Kelly and I agree.

  2. akmom

    Agreed! I thought I WAS acting responsibly by being on birth control for many years. Guess the almighty male republicans told me. huh.

  3. Lynn Willis

    Isn’t a pregnancy test at a bar a little late to prevent FAS? No funding for family planning including birth control but no problem with stocking the State’s watering holes with pregnancy tests. I wonder how many women will want to excuse themselves sometime during their visit to the bar to approach the bar tender to obtain a free pregnancy test. Maybe the packaging will feature photos of the different legisaltors who support his idea..
    Should a woman who accepts this state funded pregnancy test be required to immediately tell the bar tender to cut her off for the remainder of the gestation period if the test is positive? Perhaps she should also be required to phone the test results to a legislative 24 hour “hot line” so she can receive anti abortion counseling while still at the bar.

    Remember these are the same folks who feel more than capable of negotiating a deal with the producers for a gas line.

Comments are closed.