WASILLA, AK, May 5, 2014 ( – Jonathan Goodwin is a military veteran from Wasilla, Alaska, who has served six tours in Iran and Afghanistan. He has found himself in dangerous war zones disassembling explosive devices and watched people being blown up. Yet, none of these experiences compare to the pain he has had to bear since experiencing the loss of his son, Jackson, during childbirth in December 2012.


After seeing the pain and post-traumatic stress disorder his wife suffered after Jackson’s death, Jonathan vowed he had to do something. “It’s extremely painful and it really rocks your world,” Jonathan said. “You’re on a path with your life, and you’re hit with something so massive that even finding your foundation again takes a lot of time.”

When he discovered there was nothing in Alaskan law that gave parents the ability to take civil action for the wrongful death of an unborn child, he was floored.

Most states have laws that give parents recourse to take civil action if their child dies before birth as the result of harm caused by another person. Alaska is one of only 10 states that does not.

“Jackson’s Law,” named after the son the Goodwin’s lost, would change the situation and give parents the ability to seek justice for wrongful harm at any point during pregnancy.

The law has passed the legislature and must now be reviewed by the departments of law, public safety, and health and social services before Governor Sean Parnell decides whether or not to sign it.

Family and friends of people who have lost their children, including Kimberly Goodwin, testified on March 10 before the senate judiciary committee.

Senator Lesil McGuire, who sponsored the bill, said, “Although no compensation could ever account for the loss of parents and families, this bill will provide families with recognition and a course for healing.”

Though the bill would exclude cases of legal abortion or when a mother harms herself or her child, the American Civil Liberties Union fears the bill will pose a challenge a woman’s ability to have an abortion. According to Democrat Senator Bill Wielechowski, doctors and nurses think it will lead to a host of lawsuits.

Despite his argument, no hospitals or medical providers have commented on the situation yet.

The Goodwin’s vow their desire to see Jackson’s Law passed has nothing to do with lawsuits or money. Kimberly says, “When that unborn child doesn’t get to have a life and be in this world it’s devastating.” She says the bill “would give a voice to the voiceless in our society.”

Jonathan says he is equal to the challenge of protecting the unborn.

“I fight for a living,” he said. “That’s what I do.”


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