May 8, 2017

Senator Olson Condemns Statements Made by Wasilla Representative

JUNEAU – On the Senate floor yesterday, Senator Donald Olson (D-Golovin) came out strongly condemning statements made by Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) to the Associated Press and Alaska Public Media, that women in villages get pregnant intentionally to get a “free trip to the city” for an abortion, or delay the termination of pregnancy until the second trimester so they can travel out of state.

“As a pro-life physician who has practiced many years in rural Alaska, I can attest that women do not get pregnant just to gain a trip to the city for an abortion. In all my years of practice in Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kotzebue, and Nome I have never witnessed any behavior remotely similar to what is being described. The comments are simply outrageous. Rural women, and all Alaska women deserve more respect than that,” said Sen. Olson.

“I have a conviction that every life matters, from a baby in the womb, to my own family, friends and neighbors, and all men and women inside my district and out. My district includes many if not most of the villages in the state, and his insinuation that somehow women in my region and other rural regions are so misguided that they would actually get pregnant just to have an abortion and get a free trip is unbelievable.

“All Alaskans should be working together to solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy in the state, not simply spewing hatefully charged rhetoric that demonizes any group of people. I hope I never hear offensive remarks like these again from any legislator, and that if we do suffer a lapse in judgement in any way that we can act with respect and integrity, and apologize, and do whatever we can to make it right. I hope that the Representative from Wasilla will come to his senses and try to heal some of the damage he has caused.”

Members of the press may contact Jeanne Devon, Senate Democratic Press Secretary at 907-465-5319 with questions.