Amid public outcry on the GOP’s stance on healthcare and women’s issues, Republicans are getting ever more creative with their excuses for banning abortions.
Still, Alaska State Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla’s surely takes the prize. On May 3, Alaska Public Media reported he claimed low-income women get abortions so they can get free, government-funded trips.
State Rep. David Eastman said some Alaskans are glad to become pregnant, so that they can have a Medicaid-funded trip to Anchorage or Seattle to have an abortion. Eastman didn’t provide evidence for this, but said he had been told this by friends and acquaintances.
From the House floor, David Eastman declared that Medicaid funding for healthcare-related travel actually encourages women to become pregnant so they can get their free trip.
“We’ve created an incentive structure where people are now incented to carry their pregnancy longer than they would otherwise and then take part in that when they wouldn’t otherwise be doing it.”
He made these remarks as he tried to add an amendment to a resolution that proclaims April as Sexual Assault awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month because, for him, abortion is “the ultimate form of child abuse.”
Speaking of child abuse, how much to you want to bet David Eastman doesn’t support anything that might actually prevent child abuse.
When his colleagues demanded some evidence, he insisted he “certainly knows of specific instances,” like the following reality-free story.
“I can think of a case that was brought to our attention earlier this session where you had a family who was very glad to hear that their abortion had gone beyond a certain point, because they were going to be heading to Seattle.”
In an interview with Associated Press on May 2, he made similar comments to vilify low-income women so his fellow Republicans can feel good about taking away a woman’s constitutional right.
“We have folks who try to get pregnant in this state so that they can get a free trip to the city, and we have folks who want to carry their baby past the point of being able to have an abortion in this state so that they can have a free trip to Seattle.”
But back to the House floor session, David Eastman declared that his constituents want to eliminate Medicaid funding for abortions and said:
“You have individuals who are in villages and are glad to be pregnant, so that they can have an abortion because there’s a free trip to Anchorage involved.”
Katie Rogers from Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands declared his comments were “ludicrous and despicable.”
“The process for a woman to get to Seattle to access reproductive health care – a full range of reproductive health care – is incredibly challenging. o even suggest that women are benefiting off the very restrictions that the state has put in place as relates to second-trimester abortions is – it is a new low, even for Rep. Eastman.”
Planned Parenthood has sued the state of Alaska over laws banning second-trimester abortions.
The word “villages” got him in even more hot water because, as CNN mentions:
In Alaska, “village” can sometimes be a coded reference to indigenous people who live in rural areas. This led some House Democrats to interpret Eastman’s comments as racially charged.
On Wednesday, Alaska’s House voted to formally censure David Eastman by a 25-14 vote. After being censured by his colleagues. he finally offered a lame not-apology.
“I hope that there will be no further times where something like this should happen I do ask for forgiveness from any and every person who has been hurt by what I said.”
Eastman’s the first state rep. in Alaska to ever be censured.
Listen: State Rep. David Eastman claims low-income women have abortions “because there’s a free trip involved.”
Yes, Medicaid does fund travel to Anchorage or Seattle for low-income women when they need abortions. That’s because so-called pro-lifers like Rep. David Eastman keep passing laws that make it harder to provide them, and which force women’s health clinics to shut down. Back in February 2016 Alaska Right to Life ghoulishly boasted:
“at no time since before 1973…has a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy been more dependent on her zip code or financial resources to travel.”
According to their stats:
Abortion access in the U.S. has been vanishing at the fastest annual pace on record, propelled by Republican state lawmakers’ push to legislate the industry out of existence. Since 2011, at least 162 abortion providers have shut or stopped offering the procedure, while just 21 opened
A January 2017 report from the Guttmacher Institute adds Alaska only has eight healthcare facilities that do abortions. As of 2014, 90 percent of counties in Alaska had no abortion providers, even though 37 percent of Alaska’s women live in those counties.
Women in Alaska seeking abortions are required to receive “counseling” with phony information from anti-choicers designed to talk them out of ending their pregnancies.