May 3, 2022

Press Release: Gara & Cook React To Roe v. Wade Reversal In Leaked Supreme Court Opinion

Only Pro-Choice Gubernatorial Ticket Commits To Protect A Woman’s Right To Choose In Alaska

Yesterday’s leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion alarmingly states a majority of  Supreme Court Justices have voted to overturn Roe v. WadeThe Court’s most radical Justices, including newer appointees, appear to have joined in that opinion. The opinion leaves a woman’s right to choose up to state laws. Assuming this leaked opinion holds, it leaves a woman’s right to make her own health decisions front and center of Alaska’s race for Governor. 

Les Gara, Alaska’s only pro-choice candidate for Governor, issued the following statement about reversal of 50 years of constitutional protection of a woman’s right to choose. 

“Alaska will become the last line of defense for a woman’s right to make her own private health decisions. As Governor I’ll veto anti-choice legislation. I’ll screen judicial candidates to seek ones who’ll leave their politics at the courthouse door, and who’ll follow existing Alaska court precedent protecting choice.”

Gara explained how future state judges could follow the exact course as the U.S. Supreme Court if Alaska elects an anti-choice Governor who appoints anti-choice judges.

“The danger is that, like the U.S. Constitution, there is no explicit statement in our constitution on a woman’s right to choose. Federal judges have reversed 50 years of precedent to say choice is no longer covered by federal constitutional “privacy” protections. If a future Governor picks anti-choice judges, they, too, can take the same hard right turn. The wrong state judges, like their wrong federal counterparts, can also rule Alaska’s right to privacy doesn’t cover a woman’s right to choose.”

Jessica Cook, Gara’s running mate states:

“The Supreme Court released a draft opinion that’s poised to take away a woman’s right to make her own personal health decisions. This pending decision undermines the right to privacy Alaskans value. I am pro-choice. Les is the only pro-choice candidate for governor. Alaska’s one pro-choice team will be on your side, striving to protect the privacy of women to make their own health care decisions.”

The two other major candidates who’ve served as Governor have both sued to roll back a woman’s right to choose.

In 2021 Governor Dunleavy spent state money to join a lawsuit to uphold the State of Texas’ radical near-ban on a woman’s right to choose.

Governor Walker also describes himself as “pro-life.” In 2015 his Administration sued to try to restrict Medicaid coverage for women if they choose abortion, seeking to roll back Alaska Supreme Court precedent that provided for Medicaid Coverage. In 2019 the Alaska Supreme Court ruled against this challenge, noting it had already ruled in favor of coverage in a prior court ruling. Walker, based on his personal values, withdrew a promise in the 2014 campaign that he’d veto anti-choice legislation.

“I hope somehow this leaked opinion isn’t final. But Supreme Court majority members explicitly stated in oral argument on this case that they were poised to reverse Roe v. Wade,” said Gara.