Friday June 4, 2010

Alaska Gov Vetoes Child Health Insurance Program over Abortion Concerns

By Peter J. Smith

JUNEAU, Alaska, June 4, 2010 ( – Alaska’s governor Sean Parnell has nixed an expansion of the state’s child health insurance program (CHIP) after he discovered that the program pays for elective abortions and could end up financing more.

Parnell struck out $2.9 million dollars for the program from Alaska’s eight billion dollar operating budget with a veto of SB 13, the Denali Kid Care program, which sponsors said would add 1,277 children and 225 pregnant women to the rolls of the state’s insured. Denali Kid Care is a state-subsidized program that extends to children until age 18, and to pregnant women living in households within 175 percent of federal poverty level guidelines.

But the governor said that while he supported the bill in principle, he was shocked to learn that funds were being used to abort “hundreds” of unborn children.

“I want to be able to provide those services. But if your governor doesn’t stand for life and liberty, as he understands it in his conscience, then you don’t have a governor,” Parnell said, according to Alaska’s News Tribune.

The Tribune reported that the Denali Kid Care expansion would have made households with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($55,150 for a family of four) eligible for the program.

Alaskan abortion providers already funnel low-income women toward the program before coming into their clinics: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest features on its website a link directing the uninsured to apply for Denali Kid Care. The National Network of Abortion Funds also requests uninsured Alaskan women to pursue the insurance program before seeking from them a loan for an abortion.

While pro-abortion Democrats wasted no time in accusing Parnell of denying health care to over a thousand children, they did not dispute the fact that the program does pay to kill unborn children. Sen. Bettye Davis (D-Anchorage), a sponsor of the program’s expansion, asserted that only a handful of unborn children would be aborted in contrast to the hundreds of others that would get health care.

Parnell, who is a conservative pro-life Republican, used to be Alaska’s lieutenant governor before stepping into his current office, which was vacated by the July 2009 resignation of Sarah Palin.

Click here to contact Gov. Sean Parnell.


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