Republican Alaska House Member, David Eastman, is being censured after he said that there are women in Alaska who are getting knocked up because they are trying to get a “free trip to the city,” which is the real motive behind their abortion.
The Alaska House voted 25-24 for censuring him, in an odd move against Eastman.
They even went so far as to call him the “least politically correct legislator in our state,” in reference to the comments he made.
Eastman said that there are not a lot of places where people have incentives for abortion the way they do in Alaska. According to him, if someone looks to get an abortion, they will get a free trip to the city.
He continued on and elaborated, saying that if someone wants to have an abortion after the point that it is allowed in the state of Alaska, they get a free trip to Seattle.
His words have liberals up in arm, but maybe they should be a little retrospective. If there is even an ounce of truth in that statement, Alaska has a lot more to worry about than being a little “politically incorrect.”
On Tuesday, leaders of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska called for Eastman’s censure in a release that referred to his comments as “racially-charged and misogynistic.” Many Alaska Natives live in rural communities, where health services are limited and travel often is needed to access care in larger communities. During floor debate Wednesday, legislators expressed disgust with Eastman’s comments. Some said they had hoped to hear a sincere apology from Eastman but did not feel they had. “I was looking for that short, specific, sincere, unqualified apology and it didn’t happen,” said Republican Rep. Chuck Kopp of Anchorage. “It drifted into political messaging.” During his comments, Eastman said he believes we will not make progress as a state or be able to solve some of the state’s biggest problems “if we do not protect the right to talk about them, even imperfectly.” But there were concerns, voiced by Kopp and others, that the House might be setting precedent in formally rebuking someone for something they said — particularly comments that are made away from the floor or outside of committee hearings. Research conducted by the Legislative Reference Library found the last time a lawmaker was censured by a branch of the Legislature was in 1994. That case involved a senator. The research did not indicate any prior legislative censures of a House member. Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, an Anchorage Democrat who brought the motion to censure, said elected officials are supposed to be exemplars in their community — “not the bare minimum” — and setting an example. She said Alaskans are looking to the House for leadership.