*UPDATE* – Please see the update at the end of this article.
“Planned Parenthood doesn’t empower women, or offer women who find themselves in less than ideal circumstances any kind of real choice. What they offer is not real choice or female health care.”
– Sarah Palin
(Photo courtesy of Adrienne Ross)
On Friday, April 29, members of the Alaska Federation of Republican Women (AFRW) heard from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski as she came to speak to the delegates. As many of you know, Lisa Murkowski lost the primary election for the Republican seat in Alaska to Joe Miller, but proceeded to mount a controversial write-in campaign and eventually kept the senate seat in the general election. This has been very divisive within the Republican party in Alaska. One of the most divisive components is her stance on Life. The Alaska Republican Party Platform addresses the issue of Life as follows:
“We endorse the Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Man is made in the image of God; we embrace the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until natural death. We heartily encourage our elected officials to use every legal means to protect the unborn and recognize the worth of even the smallest members of the human race.”
Our senior senator Murkowski recently voted against defunding Planned Parenthood. On her own in her speech to the AFRW, the senator acknowledged her campaign had divided the party, but she stated she hoped we could “all unite” in efforts to strengthen the Republican Party in Washington. An article appeared in today’s “Frontiersman,” the Wasilla newspaper, about the AFRW event. Her comments were very interesting regarding the divisiveness within the party:
She told the group that although she knows that some of them did not agree with her decision to move forward with a write-in campaign to keep her Senate seat, she hopes they can now unite in their efforts to strengthen the GOP in Washington.
“There were people who had been friends for a long time who weren’t able to talk about the campaign because it became as emotional as it did,” she said. “I took a risk, those of you who stayed with me took a risk. I thank you for that. But I also know that that risk caused more than just mild discomfort. It caused some real anxiety. But we have a challenge in front of us as a federation. I challenge you all to figure out how to build on the strengths we have as Republican women in this state.”
While people criticize Gov. Palin for “quitting” office and dividing the state, it is elected officials like Murkowski that are truly divisive. (See here for our position on the quitter arguement.)Mounting a write-in campaign against the wishes of her constituents after losing in the primary has created a rift that many feel will only be closed once she is out of office. Her stance on the Life issue is a major reason why she lost the Republican nomination during the primary to begin with. The Life issue turned out to be the pivotal point in that election and what keeps many from supporting her to this day.
Continuing on in her speech to the AFRW and wrapping up comments, she addressed questions. One delegate to the convention then asked the pivotal question – why did Murkowski NOT support defunding Planned Parenthood? The “Frontiersman” article addresses this question, and Murkowski’s answer:
When one woman in the back of the room asked her why she didn’t support cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that made more than $900 million in profits last year that the woman considers to be corrupt, Murkowski was clear on her own message there.
“I don’t believe that Planned Parenthood should be entirely defunded,” she said. “The House measure would have been a complete and total elimination of those dollars. I happen to believe that Planned Parenthood does do good things for women in this country, particularly low-income women, and I was willing to put myself behind that position in that vote. That’s my perspective and if people feel differently, they vote the other way. I think we saw that final outcome.”
She was willing to put herself behind that position? “That’s my perspective…” she states. What about what her constituents want? What about the Alaska Republican Party platform?
Contrast this with Gov. Palin. Yesterday, Gov. Palin had the opportunity to speak at the Heroic Media “Heroes Among Us” fundraiser dinner. This speech was attended also by Adrienne Ross, writer and founder of Motivation Truth, a site which supports Gov. Palin. In her speech, Gov. Palin showed that she is a true conservative Alaskan woman who stands by those who adhere to the Alaska Republican Party Platform. Gov. Palin addressed her own decision to choose life, and that of her daughter Bristol as well:
Upon learning that she was pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome, she said, she went through an array of emotions which led her to rely on God’s strength, Who said He would not give us any more than we can handle, yet she remembers saying to God, “I think you over-estimated me this time!” She spent her pregnancy, she so transparently shared, crying out for God’s miraculous touch.
The moment Trig was born, as he melted in her arms, she knew God had answered her prayers. He changed her world then, and he continues to inspire, as she watches him greet every day with applause–literally. “Trig is the light of our life,” she said.
She then shared Bristol’s story–yes, less than ideal circumstances once again, but Bristol found strength to do the right thing. Both mother and daughter embraced life, believing in God’s strength–and not taking counsel from those who choose to believe that women are not strong enough to handle the challenges they face. “Choosing life may not be the easy path, but it is the right path,” she declared.
And then the governor addressed the Planned Parenthood issue:
Contrast this to Planned Parenthood, which the Governor called out for all its corruption and dedication to abortion. Planned Parenthood, she said, doesn’t show other options. “What they offer is not real choice.” She went on to state that the federal government has no business subsidizing such an organization, particularly when we have a major fiscal problem on our hands. America gives $1,000,000 taxpayer dollars to them every day, and Governor Palin emphatically said, she doesn’t want her money paying for the abortion of a child. We will not stop until not one cent goes to Planned Parenthood and funding abortion, she vowed.
She spoke at length about Lila Rose, whom she presented with the Heroes Among Us Award. Governor Palin praised Lila for being passionate about life, for exposing Planned Parenthood for its illegal activities, and for fearlessly speaking out on this issue. She compared Lila’s work to that of human rights activism. “She’s using her voice to defend the voiceless,” the Governor said. Unlike what you hear in the media, Governor Palin is not intent on making herself the focus. Much–if not most–of her speech was dedicated to praising this young woman whom she respects greatly.
Upon receiving the award, Ms. Rose immediately called attention to Governor Palin’s own heroism, stating that she is a hero to all women. Heroic Media defines a hero as “someone who makes great personal sacrifices for the benefit of others.” Yes, both Governor Palin and Lila Rose qualify.
Sarah Palin is unabashedly, unequivocally Pro-Life and is not afraid to stand up and tell the world. Many here in Alaska respect that greatly.
As for Sen. Murkowski – she was elected to be a voting delegate at the AFRW convention, and was to attend the second day of the convention and vote. However, she sent a proxy in her stead and did not show. Who knows why? Maybe it had to do with the hard question she was asked by that delegate about Planned Parenthood, a delegate who later defended that question to a handful of Murkowski supporters in attendance. Maybe it was the conversation she had with another delegate in the hall, an ardent Joe Miller supporter, who let her know that we will not forget where she stands and how she votes on this and other issues. Or maybe it was the huge truck that someone hired which circled the AFRW venues both days. On this truck was a very large billboard picture of an aborted fetus, along with photos of Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich (AK Democratic Senator), showing that they really do vote the same, and Murkowski’s votes and stance are far from Pro-Life and the Alaska Republican Platform. Everyone in attendance saw this truck, as did Murkowski, her name and face alongside the aborted fetus.
Have no doubt – Sarah Palin is the true conservative Pro-Life Alaskan. Murkowski, not so much.
UPDATE: I have received many comments through this blog, facebook, and email, and I’d like to address those. The focus of this article is Life and how two Alaskan women choose to support that Life. The focus of this article is not who attended the convention, or who some think should have attended, nor is it about a picture that some found offensive. I am offended that I have no true Republican representation from my Alaska Senator. I am offended that a sitting senator, who herself admitted has divided the state’s party, spoke at our convention. I am offended that this same senator has chosen not to defund Planned Parenthood, against our party’s platform. Even if federal dollars are not going to be used by Planned Parenthood for abortion services (which I believe they will), the mere fact that this organization exists to kill children is appalling. Are you saying it’s ok to fund an organization that performs thousands of abortions as long as they use the money we give them to buy dixie cups instead? Why is our federal government, that is bleeding profusely from every pore, funding any kind of organization like this? That was the point of my article. Senator Murkowski knows that the issue of Life is one of the strongest platforms our party stands on, and yet she chooses to fund an organization that is the biggest offender of this. She does not represent me. I appreciate all the ladies who were in attendance at the convention and their comments, but please look in the mirror and ask yourself where you stand. Do you stand with the Alaskan Republican Party and the principles upon which it stands? I’m tired of Republicans rolling over and compromising their principles in order to “get along” with everyone. Sarah Palin was correct when she said the GOP has the fighting instincts of sheep. Remember what our guest speaker Gisela said? We must stand up and not back down. We have to stand for what we believe in. And as I see it, Sen. Murkowski stood for what she believes in when she voted the way she did, and Sarah Palin choose to stand by her principles when she gave birth to Trig and continues to speak out about Life to this day. I’m glad Gov. Palin was not in attendance and chose instead to send a beautiful message to a much wider audience. Well done, Sarah Palin.
For more articles by Tracey Porreca, please see Alaskans4Palin