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 firstname.lastname@example.org