Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest on Alaska Republican Primary: Dangerous Threat to Alaska Women’s Health on the Ballot this November
Anchorage, AK — Responding to Dan Sullivan’s victory in the Alaska Republican Senate primary, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political groups committed to a comprehensive campaign educating Alaska voters about Sullivan’s dangerous record and positions on women’s health in advance of the general election. This effort is part of the Women are Watching campaign to engage and mobilize voters around women’s health.
“It’s clear the Alaska Senate race is a battleground for women’s health,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “We know that women will play a key role in determining the outcome of this race and many others across the country. That’s why we’ve launched an integrated campaign to ensure Alaskans know where Senator Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan stand on issues important to women’s health and rights.”
On one side of the ballot voters have Dan Sullivan, who has dodged questions left and right around his positions on policies important to Alaska women and families, including a federal personhood bill and the Violence Against Women Act. On the other side, they have Mark Begich, a true champion for women’s health and rights with a steadfast commitment to standing up for women and families at home and in Washington.
“We knew that no matter who won the Republican primary that women’s health would be on the ballot this November,” said Jessica Cler, Alaska Public Affairs Manager at Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. “Alaska women are watching — and now it’s up to us to ask the tough questions when it comes to Dan Sullivan’s record and positions on women’s health. At Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, the choice is clear: Dan Sullivan doesn’t represent Alaska women and wants to put government where it doesn’t belong — in between a woman and her doctor. Between now and November 4th, we will be working around the clock to make sure Alaskans vote and when they do, that they vote for the candidate that will stand up for them at home and in Washington to ensure women and families get a fair shot.”
While Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell were steadfast in their dangerous positions when it comes to women’s health, Sullivan has been slippery, dodging questions left and right leaving Alaska women uneasy as to whether they can trust Sullivan in Washington.
For example, during a candidate forum on April 25, voters heard loud and clear from Joe Miller when he stated his steadfast support for the Life at Conception Act, a so-called “personhood” effort introduced by conservative leader Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate that could end access to safe and legal abortion in the United States. When pushed, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell said he “will support legislation that supports the definition of life beginning at conception.” The third Republican contender, Dan Sullivan, dodged the question and said he needed time to read the bill. Alaska voters are now left confused, especially since his campaign website states: “life begins at conception and we must fight to protect the lives of the unborn.”
When asked about his position on the Violence Against Women Act, Sullivan used a similar line.
To encourage Dan Sullivan to clarify his position and finally read the Life at Conception Act, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest sent his office a copy of the bill in May, with a request that he make clear for Alaska voters exactly where he stands. Months later, a clear response has still yet to be made. (Click here for a copy of the mailed letter and click here for a copy of the bill.)
To hold him accountable and to encourage voters to ask Sullivan the tough questions, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, alongside Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest launched an effort called “Slippery Sullivan.” You can view some of the graphics here and here. You can view ads holding him accountable for the deeply unpopular Hobby Lobby decision here.
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