A video of the Republican candidate for Alaska’s Senate Kelly Shibaka has surfaced online again recently, calling for federal criminalization of mail abortion and birth control pills.
Tshibaka, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, said during a meeting With supporters captured on cellphone video last month that she wants to “make it illegal” to send abortion pills in the mail as part of a potentially criminal act that would allow postal services to block those pills from reaching recipients.
Although the GOP candidate, who is running for the seat of Senator Lisa Murkowski in the state’s upcoming midterm election, said she needed to consider the idea, she said the potential ACT recipient, the drugmaker, would “sue” the sender. Will drive and “the whole series there.”
When one of the attendees at the meeting asked her whether birth control pills also fall into the same category, she replied that “it will.”
On Wednesday, Alaska’s House of Representatives voted to pass a budget amendment that would freeze Medicaid funding for abortions, Alaska Public Media reported.
The amendment was introduced by GOP representative Christopher Kurka who said: “The legislature has consistently said that we do not want to pay for abortions. I think it is high time to stop using intended language. We do it again.” “Like last year, let’s put this language in the budget to make it clear that this body is not interested in paying for abortions.”
Last year, there were more than 1,200 abortions in Alaska, of which 43.8 percent of the procedures were funded by Medicaid, according to state data,
GOP legislators are pushing against abortion in various parts of the country where it is either banned or is facing some restrictions. In September, Texas issued a law banning the statewide process for sending residents seeking abortions to other states, including Oklahoma, which also recently withdrew their abortion rights.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma passed a bill in the state House that would make abortion a felony that could carry up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
With at least 15 Republican-controlled states pushing bills banning the procedure, abortion pills have become an attractive option for many women, according to the Daily Kos. The pills made up 54 percent of abortions in 2020, according to released data by the Guttmacher Institute in February.
“For many people, the option of having an abortion in the privacy and comfort of their own home is tempting,” Rachel Kay Jones, a research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, told NPR last month.
The pills allowed women to terminate their pregnancies for up to 10 weeks without an operation. In response to the pandemic, in July 2020 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that those pills could be accessed without having to be taken in person or in the presence of a doctor. Guardian,
In December, the FDA made a permanent decision to receive abortion pills via mail and said at the time that women could continue to order mifepristone, a progesterone blocker. can terminate the pregnancy through telehealth services.
However, some Republicans are pushing against abortion pills, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who last month signed legislation restricting access to them, according to ABC News.
Meanwhile in Georgia, Republican state senator Bruce Thompson sponsored a bill in January that prohibits the distribution of abortion pills by mail. Thompson said during a floor debate that his bill was “to protect the legendary doctor-patient relationship,” according to NPR. “Why won’t we do everything within our power to protect the health and safety of women during this difficult time in our lives?” He asked.
newsweek Kelly reached out to Shibaka’s media office and Plan C, a nonprofit that supports abortion, for comment.