Alaska Governor Goes to Bat for Pro-Life Activists after State Employees Violate Their First Amendment Rights

Alaska may not have become a state until 1959, but it’s still a state, and as such, the First Amendment still applies with its borders.

Some State of Alaska employees, however, seem to be a bit confused on this point.

Last week a group of pro-life activists with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform displayed large graphic images of aborted babies outside the State Capitol building in Juneau. And in response to “complaints” about the pictures, some state employees ordered state vehicles to park in front of the signs, thus completely blocking them from public view.

But these stalwart pro-life activists weren’t about to be steamrolled.

See for yourself:

Governor Backs Pro-Lifers

It didn’t take long for news of the incident to reach elected officials, with the Anchorage Daily News reporting that it “occupied a significant portion of a Senate majority news conference Friday.”

Speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) pulled no punches:

These protesters were not yelling and screaming. They were not saying anything. They were standing there silently. Yet we had several vans – state of Alaska vans – park in front of those protesters. We had one of the protesters – it’s on the video – that was manhandled. This is an outrage.

What’s more, Sean Parnell—Alaska’s Governor—himself issued a press release in which he voiced his strong support on behalf of the pro-life activists’ constitutional rights:

“It was totally inappropriate that employees of the Department of Administration, the Court System and the Legislature were involved in parking state vehicles in front of the peacefully assembled demonstrators, who were violating no state law,” Governor Parnell said. “I do not condone infringing on Alaskans’ constitutional liberties. I have given direction to the Department of Administration to ensure this does not happen in the future unless public safety is at risk or the rule of law violated. I urge the Legislature and the Court System to do the same for their employees.”

Good on Governor Parnell!

Attempt to Censor Abortion Pictures Fails Miserably

There is a great irony in this story:

In an attempt to prevent abortion pictures from being seen by members of the public in the vicinity of the Alaska State Capitol, a handful of State of Alaska employees took it upon themselves to violate the First Amendment rights of the individuals displaying the pictures and treat them deplorably. As a result, exponentially more people have been confronted with the reality of abortion, now that this story has received national—yea, international—attention.

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