Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Startling Revelation from the Wasilla Project

Several days ago, I mentioned the Wasilla Project and even provided links to their videos on my links page. They've released three so far, one concerning Gov. Palin's "fiscally conservative" credentials (for example, redecorating her office when she was mayor to the tune of $50,000 - bet THAT was some nice furniture), one concerning the controversy surrounding the town's decision not to pay for the "forensic rape kits" used when a woman reported a rape (supposedly around $1000. each. Hmmm. One office redecoration = fifty rape kits), and a third discussing her religious affiliation.

I have to confess that while I was doing the links, and trying to update the page, I was listening to the videos but I did not give them my full attention. Well, thanks to my friend Morgan - who did watch them all the way through - we now have spotted something rather surprising that frankly I am shocked no one else seems to have picked up again.

Here's the shocker: During the time Sarah Palin was mayor, her church became involved in taking over the board of Mat-Su Regional Hospital. Yes, you read correctly. The very hospital where Trig Palin was supposedly born on April 18th was (at least in the past) made up almost entirely of those who were involved with Sarah Palin's church.

Here's the exact quote from the video:

"During the time Sarah Palin was mayor, her church became involved in taking over the board of the local hospital. [Note: the video never says "Mat-Su Regional Hospital" by name, but at this point in the video they are showing the entrance of that hospital.] The more conservative, fundamentalist churches, over a period of three or four years, were able to elect and control the operating board of the hospital. At the first meeting where they had control, they passed a resolution ending all abortions at the hospital. The Wasilla Assembly of God and its membership were a key leader in this group."

You can watch the video here:

I am going to attempt to do a bit more research into who these people were - and the exact time frame. Sarah Palin first became mayor in 1996, and the video states that it took 3-4 years for the takeover to be accomplished. But the video also seems to say that in 1997 "After a lengthy battle, the Alaska Supreme Court overturned the hospital's ban on abortion in November, 1997." So the time frames here do not add up.

I will try to obtain more information on this issue - including specific names of board members, etc. What is very clear, however, is that there were at least in the past some DEEP ties between Mat-Su Regional Hospital's board AND Sarah Palin's church.

Now consider Gov. Palin's "mad dash" to reach Mat-Su Hospital on April 17th, 2008 .

Draw whatever conclusions you like.


Anonymous said...

This revelation should not surprise anyone, but it seems likely that Mat-su was the ideal place to pull off the final deception necessary to fake a pregnancy and delivery. They could probably count on some cooperation and privacy, and certainly no questions asked.

I have another question: Why was the entire Palin family at that hospital in the middle of the night on April 18, 2008 The official account was that Willow was first to see that Trig had Downs and, purportedly, asked her mother why she didn't tell anyone?


Mary G. said...

I just want to mention that I have already posted comments questioning Cathy Baldwin-Johnson and her possible affiliations (but also those of other medical personnel close to Palin) to "hard-core" anti-choice groups--I mean, Palin's specially approved and decorated physician supposedly counsels troubled teens--possible rape or incest victims, or even accidentally pregnant ones--It seems that the only advice acceptable to Palin and her fundamentalist, hospital-taking-over supporters is have the baby... give it up, maybe, but you must bear it. I mention this because the fundamentalist war on choice turns emergency intervention into "no abortion even if a young girl is raped."
I also detest how Palin goes on about being God's chosen in "receiving" the "gift" of Trig. I suppose God threw in the $6,000.00 Louis Vuitton bag as a bonus "gift with gift."

Elizabeth said...

Mary G. makes great points, including her observations regarding physicians (and other people in positions of authority) with religious agendas. On the hospital board issue, it is interesting to note that the Washington Times reported on October 11 that Ms. Palin booted her own mother-in-law from the Board: "Palin's former church and other evangelical denominations were instrumental in ousting members of Valley Hospital's board who supported abortion rights _ including the governor's mother-in-law, Faye Palin.

Alaska Right to Life Director Karen Lewis, who led the campaign, said Palin wasn't a leader in the movement initially. But by 1997, after she had been elected mayor, Palin joined a hospital board to make sure the abortion ban held while the courts considered whether the ban was legal, Lewis said."

Elizabeth said...

P.S. to above post: should read, "Ms. Palin's former church and associates," rather than Ms. Palin herself getting her mother-in-law booted.


Anonymous said...

Audrey, you are amazing in researching and providing this information to the public. Thank you and keep up the good work! We must stop this woman from becoming VP! I believe she is evil and that McCain has made a deal with the devil!

Lady Rose said...

wow - thanks to all who got this detail out in the open

I wish I could be up there in Alaska with you trying to uncover the truth - but you have my support from the East Coast

Palin said she was going to release her medical records in an interview last night - I now know why she felt safe saying that - the hospital will just provide her with what ever she needs with whatever needs to be deleted left out.

I agree with the above commentor - Palin is true evil.

Stephanie said...

Audrey--I think you'll find the timelines do match up, and again go to a central theme: hopping on a hot button "culture war" issue to advance one's political position. It sounds like the church was indeed going at it for years in seeking to have its religious views imposed on all the hospital's patients, and that a certain candidate promptly got on the bandwagon of something that would hardly have objectively seemed to be a legitimate issue for a municipal administration. She did appear to latch on to this religious movement in time to use her political authority to solidify a patently indefensible constitutional position that the court then struck down.

Morgan said...

Audrey, have you thought about getting in touch with the reporter interviewed in that video? I'm sure you have, but I think exploring this board thing is going to be rubbing another layer off the skin of the layers of secrecy around Trig's birth.

You're quite welcome for the tip-off; when I saw that about Palin's church members taking over the board my jaw just dropped. To me, this is some very damning evidence.

Who knows how many people were involved, but if those people running that hospital believe they have some kind of holy mission to protect Sarah, then they can justify any lie and/or cover up.
I picture the people around here being all Divinci Code protective, thinking she's some Marovengian descendent. I wouldn't be surprised to see an albino monk in the crowd at her next rally.

Just kidding of course, but this has gone from weird to creepy.

Anonymous said...

Mat-Su Regional is the NEW name for hospital building. The old facility was known as VALLEY Hopsital (which was in Palmer.)

The Valley Hospital Association still operates the facility with its new deep pocket owner, TRIAD.

Here is a link to a website that has a short Bio about Sarah Palin when she was on the Association Board.

Anonymous said...

Oops - now she is not releasing her medical records.

What - no doctor wanted to lie for her in front of 300 million people - more if you include all our foreign neighbors watching?

Anonymous said...

As most of us know by now from AP,

"In July, the governor charged the state $2,741.26 to take Bristol and Piper to Philadelphia for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The girls had their own room for five nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for $215.46 a night..."

How about this: Somebody out there knows somebody on the Ritz-Carlton housekeeping staff who might have seen Bristol or Sarah breast-feeding or at least pumping milk.

And if Sarah and Bristol were really in two separate rooms, there could be twice as much evidence as expected.

The housekeeper always knows.


Audrey said...

I want to clarify my comment about the time line and why I think it does not add up. I will research this as soon as I am able, but in the meantime if someone wants to poke around maybe he/she will find out what I am curious about.

1. Sarah Palin becomes mayor of Wasilla for the first term in 1996.

2. In the video it says it takes 3-4 years to "take over" the hospital board. This would bring us up to 1999-2000.

3. At the "first meeting" at which they had control, they abolished abortion at Mat-Su. (So again circa 2000.)

4. Then, after a "lengthy battle" the Alaska Supreme Court overturned the hospital's ban on abortion. BUT it says this was in "November, 1997."

That's what doesn't add up. Was this really in November, 2007? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

This is a good one from 'More Questions from Third Graders Sarah Palin Would Get Wrong'

When a mommy is about to give birth, should she get on an 8 hour plane ride?

Anonymous said...

I am more convinced than ever that Sarah Palin is a pathological liar. Brian Williams asked her what is the definition of a person who is "elite." She answered it is someone who thinks they are better than someone else. In her recent speech in Johnstown, PA she was certainly bragging about herself as being better than the person who is pro-choice. Also someone who thinks their part of the country is better than somewhere else. It is Ms. Sarah who spoke about the parts of the country that are pro-America, setting off a media firestorm about which parts of the country are NOT pro-America! She is totally ignorant and reprehensible!

Anonymous said...

From the link that "anonymous" posted, what is all of this stuff about the polar bear:

"In the midst of all the fracas about Sarah Palin's $150,000 designer wardrobe, the Republican vice-presidential candidate busted out her favorite polar bear lapel pin at a campaign event in Troy, Ohio, on Thursday.

A photo of Palin with the white polar bear pin standing out on her brown suit jacket can be found here. Palin watchers will note that this is hardly the first time that the candidate has worn the ursine adornment out on the campaign trail. More Palin polar bear pin pictures are here and here.

Speculative theories abound as to why Palin wears the pin while on the stump: Is it Alaska pride? A polar bear and bear cub are the symbol of the state's "Made in Alaska" program. Is it anti-American? The polar bear is also the symbol of the Alaskan Independence Party, the secessionist party to which "First Dude" Todd Palin famously used to belong. Or is the pin just so much hockey-mom costuming? Nothing screams regular gal louder than a little local wildlife kitsch glitzing up your couture.

The irony is that, much as she may favor the Arctic dweller's image, Palin is no friend of the polar bear. In January 2008, long before she was running for veep, Palin wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times opposing the bears being listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Defying Palin's wishes, the famously anti-environmental Bush administration listed the polar bear in May 2008, because of the deleterious effects of global warming on the animal's habitat.

If Palin wants to adorn herself with images of animals that her policies are driving to extinction -- actual pelts tend to be big no-nos under those oppressive federal laws -- her lapel could get crowded. Next, whoever's doing Palin's shopping should start looking for a beluga whale pin. Palin recently opposed increasing protections for those whales, which live in Cook's Inlet, because it could interfere with offshore oil drilling."

Mary G said...

I emailed some links to Audrey on the issues of the Alaskan supreme court and abortion decisions--it may have been a mistake in the Wasilla Project Documentary to say that the supreme court overturned the anti-choicers' ban in 1997--It seems it may have been in 2007. But I'll keep digging.mary

Anonymous said...

Palin and her religious cohorts would always have young women "carry to term," no matter the circumstance in which conception took place (rape, incest, etc). This rigid stance courts inhumanity, because it denies that the woman's feelings about the pregnancy have no bearing on the matter.

Now if Palin were a truly compassionate person, she would not presume to judge the young women who seek an abortion for their own reasons. Indeed, she should know that judgement from without is all too easy because the example of Her Own Daughter (pregnant at 15?!) shows that every person has their own (private) story. But because Palin is a religious hypocrite she has to hide in her own family what she has condemned in others. Hence her deception with Trig.

The irony is if she had just claimed Trig as her grandson, she would have been showing the true compassion of the parent who stands by her child in a moment of need. She would have been acknowledging that we are all capable of "falling"; that Bristol is neither wholly evil or wholly good, but is simply a child who made an error (with the complicity of the father!). But, of course, Sarah couldn't do that because then what especial claim would she have to godly righteousness if she is the parent of a "teenage mother"?

Sarah's political ambitions have corrupted her. For me, a horrible aspect of deception is that she has made Bristol the "sister" of her own child, without leaving any way for her to be acknowledged as his mother in the future. And the funny thing is most people would probably admire Palin if she had stood by her daughter in the truth! We all know of children who are being moreorless raised by their grandparents because their parents aren't ready to assume the responsibility

Anonymous said...

According to the site referenced below, the Alaska Supreme Court decision was in 1997; the abortion restrictions (which seem to have some exceptions, unlike what I thought I heard in the video) went into effect in 1992:


Stephanie said...

Hi, Audrey:

I'll attempt to clarify the timeline. I think your questions arise from some imprecision in the reporting. On November 21, 1997, the Alaska Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the community hospital, which received public funds, was a "quasi-public institution" that could not effectively ban abortions on the premises (there had been an attempt at some very narrow exceptions to the official policy, so the official policy wasn't strictly a ban).

It appears that Sarah Palin herself came fairly "late to the game" in what had already been a years-long religious-based effort to "take over" the hospital's governing board, and at the time she became a mayoral candidate (and then mayor) may not have been averse to taking "credit" (for both religious peer and political purposes) for a hospital policy that appears to have been promptly successfully opposed in court (resulting in a permanent injunction from a lower court against enforcing the abortion ban that the Alaska Supreme Court later ruled was unconstitutional). The Valley Hospital attempt to ban abortions actually was enacted in 1992, five years before it got to the Supreme Court, but when it was first challenged in court, the lower court ruled that the ban could not lawfully be enforced even as the case was appealed up to the Supreme Court.

Stephanie said...

As another poster mentioned, in fact the 1992 policy, although unconstitutional, was short of an outright "ban" on abortions: the policy purported to prohibit abortions unless necessary to save a woman's life, in cases of rape or incest, or if the "fetus has a condition that is incompatible with human life."

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to get in touch with the people who made this? Can they provide more information about what was going on with Bristol during that time?

Sustainer said...

Let's see. The AP report on Travel Expenses for Palin's kids says Bristol and Sarah were in New York City for 5 days in October 2007. If Bristol gave birth to Trig on April 19, 2008 that would place her about 13 weeks into her pregnancy. I believe I read yesterday that Sarah said the amniocentesis was performed at 13 weeks. Maybe Bristol had the amniocentesis in New York City at that time. Perhaps an ultrasound showed some possible abnormality and they needed the amniocentesis to check it out.

The NYC deal needs more investigation. Which hotel was it? Did anyone see them there? Was it close to a hospital? etc.

Keep up the good work. I knew we would not get her records. That Mat-Su RMC Board deal makes me ill. We really need to get to the bottom of this.

Lori said...

Let me be clear - Palin is dishonest,unqualified and NOT nice. I cannot stand her. That said, I just want to get to the bottom of the Trigg issue, mostly out of curiosity. I have sent a separate letter to Audrey, but will post here. The lady on the blog( link below) seems legit. She met Sarah on a plane in March. This lady says she was on a flight with Sarah and saw SP pregnant. Had her photo taken with Sarah.

jamie newman said...

Palin Medical Records
October 23, 2008 1:42 PM

ABC News’ Kate Snow Reports: After Governor Sarah Palin said it would be “fine” to release her medical records in an interview Wednesday, the McCain-Palin campaign is feeling no sense of urgency about actually releasing any records.

Spokeswoman Maria Comella told ABC News on Thursday: “When medical information related to Governor Palin’s health is ready to be released we will make that information available.”

NBC’s Brian Williams had asked Palin in an interview that aired Wednesday, “Did I hear you just agree to release your medical records?"

Palin replied: "The medical records. So be it. If that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have one more thing that they can either check the box off that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or find something to rest them assured over. Fine. I'm healthy, I'm happy, had five kids. That is going to be in the medical records. Never been seriously ill or hurt. You will see that in the medical records if they're released."

Comella declined to give any more information about when the records might be released or whether there were any particular issues holding up their release.

Anonymous said...

Just noticed today that Sarah is not wearing a wedding ring. Is this a new development or has she never worn one?

~Emma said...

Lori, that photo and encounter with the woman in the airport was AFTER Sarah had announced her pregnancy. Of course she will look pregnant.

I want to know why would a woman who is leaking amnio fluid for 24 hours
have to be induced? And why would Sarah call the birth her easiest? Is not an induced birth a difficult birth?

(Of course the birth was easy for Sarah, someone else did all the work.)

Lori said...

Thanks Emma - I understand now; She had her story made up and was promoting said story at that point.
Funny, the blogger (who does seem like a great lady) bought the stories hook, line and sinker - even mentions the sale of the plane on e-bay (which, of course, never happened). The nice lady who blogged was taken in, wonder if she now has a clue that she was duped.

Anonymous said...

Something to ponder?

If Sarah Palin had not been picked to be a VP candidate, might she be preparing to surprise Alaskans with her 6th child?

Lori said...

I think not (re 6th child) - she was so mad at Bristol for getting pregnant (again) that she threw her out of the house, and Bristol went to live with her aunt (or so I hear).

Paula said...

After Trig's birth, Sarah said this about Trig's Down Syndrome "I've never had problems with my other pregnancies, so I was shocked." First of all, Down Syndrome is a problem of advanced maternal age, not pregnancy. Second, at 43 a woman is certainly going to be concerned about it. Would you be shocked at 43? I wouldn't. I'd worry about conceiving at 43 because there's such a high risk! Previous births are irrelevant.

SP gave birth to Piper when she was the mayor of Wasilla. I've unsuccessfully tried to find info on her behavior then. Did she take a maternity leave, photos, did she look pregnant? There's got to be something out there. It was only 7-8 years ago.

Sleuth for Truth said...

Early on it was stated that Sarah Palin was breastfeeding. If she gave birth to Trig, this is possible. If not....

From Anchorage Daily News, April 22, 2008 right after Trig's birth:

"She's breast feeding and plans to bring Trig to work with her, just as she did with Piper."


In an interview with People Magazine as late as August 29, 2008 she makes reference to a breast pump:

"What does Governor Palin need to know about working with your dad?
MEGHAN: He likes to get up early in the morning and go. Seems like she likes to do that too. I guess with a baby...
JOHN MCCAIN: ... she has to be. (Laughter)
SARAH PALIN: Morning person. Yup. We don't sleep much. Too much to do. What I've had to do, though, is in the middle of the night, put down the BlackBerries and pick up the breast pump. Do a couple of things different and still get it all done."


Sleuth for Truth said...

People magazine published an interview with Sarah and Todd Palin published on October 22, 2008 titled, "Sarah Palin: My Wedding Hope for Bristol." (The interview was done before Bristol's 18th birthday on October 18.) Here are some of the more interesting responses.

"Alicia in New York City asks, Do you think about having more children?
SP: No-o-o-o. We got our starting five. That's the final five.",,20235099_6,00.html

"Will everyone move to Washington if you win?
SP: Well, Bristol will be starting her own family and Track will be [with the Army] still fighting the war, but the little kids and Todd and I will.",,20235099_7,00.html

"You're not the first parents to cope with a teenage pregnancy. How did you get that news and what was your reaction?
SP: Just a very quick acknowledgement that Bristol and her fiancé will have to grow up a lot quicker. But she is quite mature, very kind-hearted and a very strong young woman. She's also kind of an old soul who's beyond any desire to be out there partying. It will all be good. We look forward to another life coming into our family.

Do you worry about her finishing high school or going to college?
SP: No. She's a very smart girl. She's got great grades. She's always been a very good athlete, very plugged into school. These are less than ideal circumstances, but she is making the most of this and she will be a very, very good and loving mother. And Levi will be a very good father. And it's going to be good. And certainly, of course, as you point out, we're not the first.

Has this changed how you talk about sex with your other children?
SP: I've always been a proponent of making sure kids understand – even in schools – they'd better take preventative measures so that they don't find themselves in these less than ideal circumstances. Perhaps Bristol could be a good example to other young women that life happens and preventative measures are, first and foremost, the option that should be considered –

Do you mean abstinence or contraception?
SP: Well, both. Ideally abstinence. But we have not been ones to say that students, should not know what preventive measures are all about. I've been taken aback by some criticism that mainstream media has thrown my way saying, Oh, what a hypocrite she is and she's now learned her lesson because she's been against sex education in the schools. And I'm like, when? Where? When have I ever said that there should be no sex education taught in our homes or even in our schools?",,20235099_8,00.html

"Wedding next summer, is that right?
SP: Um. Hopefully before that. But Bristol turns 18 in a few days. That's what we wanted her to wait for: 18 and a decision on her own about how she's going to go forward, her and Levi, at this point.

Are you disappointed that he's dropped out of school?
SP: He's working right now full-time, but there have been a lot of very successful, hard-working American families led by men and women who have received their GED and have figured out through home-schooling and alternative schooling how to get that high school diploma and Levi will be on that road to get his education, also. But in addition to that, they're not going to be looking for anybody to hand them anything. They're going to be working for provisions for their new family and I respect that Levi is out there working hard. He's got a good job right now, working hard, ready to take care of his new child. I respect that.",,20235099_9,00.html

"As a new Grandma, it's going to be hard if you're in Washington and the new baby is going to be so far away–
SP: We've always had very flexible schedules –
TP: Very flexible schedules –
SP: – and probably quite unconventional, but it's always worked and our family and our faith and those things that we so believe in comes first and we've always made this all work.
TP: And Uncle Trig [Sarah's and Todd's 6-month-old son] needs a little buddy to play with.
SP: (sing-songy) That's right! Trig does.

We've gotten so many questions from people who saw Trig at the convention and the debate and worry about his bedtime.
SP: If you notice in those evening debates he's usually sound asleep in all of our arms and he manages to sleep and eat like any other baby needs to, on their own schedule.
TP: He's a good Alaskan kid.
SP: He is an Alaskan kid. He's already tough and you can already tell he enjoys being outdoors also. Man, that's when he wakes up; he just enjoys it. He's perfect.

And he's got more frequent-flier miles now than–
SP: And he's got more arms to hold him and feed him than any child could ever hope for. He's got a lot of love.

STAFF: We've got to go.

Do you miss him, though, as his Mom?
SP: Well, he's just a couple of floors above me right now, so thankfully he's there with me. When you guys aren't looking at me, Trig is with me. Thankfully, it all works.",,20235099_10,00.html

"Have you prepared Bristol for the sleeplessness?
SP: She has helped with Trig for these months and she helped with [7-year-old sister] Piper all those years. She's also been a very good babysitter for nieces and nephews and cousins. She knows what it's all about. Yeah.

Do you have a favorite childhood book you'll be passing on to your new grandbaby?
SP: Awww. Gosh. That's a good question. Piper and I read lots and lots of nursery rhymes, of course, and we still do. There's a couple of really good Alaskan child books, also, about the Iditarod, the sled-dog race so, in fact a couple of those – and I'm reading one of them to Piper right now – we'll be passing those on.

Is that a series?
SP: No, different books. Susan Butcher, she was one of the Iditarod champions. She had written a book before she died. It was a beautiful book that she and her husband, Dave Monson, wrote. It's called Granite and it's a good one. And a lot of the Alaskan-oriented books because our kids are Alaska native, they're Eskimos, so it helps them understand more of their culture, the history there in Alaska.",,20235099_11,00.html

Sleuth for Truth said...

Last comment from People magazine interview published October 22, 2008....

"With the kids traveling, how do they keep up with school?
SP: They've been going back and forth and bringing schoolwork with them. Yeah. It's workin'. With our help and Grandma's and Grandpa's help.",,20235099_1,00.html

Sleuth for Truth said...

RE: Paula's comment above. I found this on a blog, but can't find the original article in the Frontiersman (if it really exists). Anyone?

"From The Frontiersman, Wasilla Alaska's local rag upon the birth of her fourth child.

Wasilla's mayor gives birth
WASILLA The population of the city of Wasilla edged up by one on Monday, when Mayor Sarah Palin gave birth to a daughter, Piper Indi Grace Palin, at 11:37 a.m.

Piper joins her brother, Track, and sisters, Bristol and Willow, in the growing Palin family. Reached at home Wednesday, the baby's father, Todd Palin, described his youngest daughter in two words: "just perfect."
Palin said Piper's name was in keeping with Alaska and sports theme names she and her husband have given their children. Besides, "I've always loved the name Piper," she said. Indi isn't just a snowmachine name, but an abbreviated form of "independence."

Todd Palin revealed the meaning behind another part of the youngest Palin's name. Grace, he said, was "for the grace of God." The mayor said the busy family was going to slow down and "savor" the first few days with Piper, because after three children they know how special and fleeting time with an infant can be."

Sleuth for Truth said...

Found the Frontiersman link to Piper's birth:

Anonymous said...

What a stupid, naive interviewer from Sheeple magazine. And what lying sacks the Palins are. If Willow and Piper are in on the fraud, Caribou Barbie and the First Dude will burn in hell for it. As they should.

Anonymous said...

"Palin said Piper's name was in keeping with Alaska and sports theme names she and her husband have given their children. Besides, "I've always loved the name Piper," she said. Indi isn't just a snowmachine name, but an abbreviated form of "independence."

Independence? As in "Alaskan Independence Party?" I wonder! These people are dangerous and should not be anywhere near the White House running our country!

dipsydoodlenoodle said...

QUOTE from Mary g. "Palin's specially approved and decorated physician supposedly counsels troubled teens--possible rape or incest victims, or even accidentally pregnant ones"

I think that says enough as to why she was involved...

Stephanie said...


I am wondering if some of the dates and reporting might be explained by people possibly conflating distinct legal issues & different Alaska Supreme Court cases? The 1997 Mat-Su case struck down the hospital's policies--which did not, at least as written, amount to a complete ban on abortions at that hospital--as violating the Alaska Constitution.

However, the Alaska legislature in 1997 passed a law that purported to ban abortions statewide and to make it a felony to perform most abortions (Alaska Stat. § 18.16.050). That law also was enjoined from being enforced when challenged in court, and was struck down three years later (in 2000) as unconstitutional in Planned Parenthood of Alaska, Inc. v. State, No. 3AN-97 6019 CIV (Alaska Super. Ct. Mar. 13, 1998), appeal dismissed, No. S-08610 (Alaska July 17, 2000).

Stephanie said...


A little bit more legal information on the Mat-Su case: the prevailing party, the Mat-Su Coalition for Choice, not only prevailed but was awarded its attorneys' fees (in excess of $100,000--almost approaching someone's recent wardrobe expenditures) in the case against Valley Hospital Association.

The Alaska Supreme Court made some interesting obervations about the structure of the hospital's governing boards (plural)before concluding that Valley Hospital Association "has not demonstrated a compelling state interest justifying its policy [precluding so-called "elective" abortions]. It has not advanced any medical, safety, or other public-welfare interest to justify precluding elective abortions. VHA has stated unequivocally that its policy is a matter of conscience, and not a medical, safety, or economic issue."

Some interesting background in the court record (reflected in the Supreme Court's opinion) regarding the hospital: "VHA is a nonprofit corporation organized under Alaska law. It owns and operates a thirty-six-bed hospital in Palmer. The hospital is licensed by the State of Alaska (State); it is the only hospital in the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley. The hospital facility currently in use was rebuilt and expanded in the early 1980s, using $10.7 million in State funds and five acres of land donated by the City of Palmer. VHA is not affiliated with or operated by any religious organization. The corporation 'is organized to serve public interests'; VHA's Board of Directors is divided into two boards, the Association Board and the Operating Board. The Association Board raises money and acquires property for the hospital and elects the Operating Board. The Operating Board has all the other powers and functions of the Board of Directors, including establishing hospital policy. VHA is a membership organization. Any adult may become a VHA member upon paying a five dollar application fee. Members who are residents of the Mat-Su Borough, denominated 'general members'; annually elect the Association Board. Abortion has been permitted in Alaska since 1970, when the state legislature passed the current abortion law...VHA
permitted lawful abortion procedures at its facility from 1970 until 1992...In 1992 abortion opponents organized a campaign to enlarge the membership of VHA. In April 1992 a larger-than-usual membership elected the Association Board, which then elected the Operating Board. In September 1992 the Operating Board enacted a new policy on abortion. The policy prohibits abortions at the hospital unless (1) there is documentation by one or more
physicians that the fetus has a condition that is incompatible with
life; (2) the mother's life is threatened; or (3) the pregnancy is
a result of rape or incest. All VHA Operating Board members
supported this new policy."

When the policy was adopted, the Mat-Su Coalition for Choice, a doctor, and ten unnamed women filed suit and obtained a preliminary injunction against the new policy's enforcement. From that point, there was never a point at which the policy could lawfully have been in effect at the hospital, because injunctive relief remained in effect until the Alaska Supreme Court agreed in November of 1997 that the policy was plainly unconstitutional.

This all poses quite a few questions: did Sarah Palin publicly take "credit" for the 1992change in hospital policy--the same policy that a court promptly held could not be enforced, and never lawfully could have been enforced? Did the Operating Board later pass some sort of (legally meaningless and unenforceable) "resolutions" for religious/political purposes after this policy already had been enjoined from being enforced? I can find no way to verify the information, but at least one newspaper account indicates that Sarah Palin has claimed that she herself became a Board member at some point (maybe she was a $5 member at some point?) in order to "hold this policy in place" (paraphrasing) while it was on appeal, but that can't be true, not only because no individual would have had that power, but because the court injunction absolutely prohibited the unconstitutional policy from being in effect during appeal.

Your point of course remains: there is a demonstrably deep connection between this small hospital and "abortion opponents" who packed its governing apparatus in order to enact a policy so facially unconstitutional that it promptly was enjoined.

Mary G. said...

Re: Stephanie's helpful posts: I noted while surfing the web regarding Valley Hospital/MatSu Regional and abortion bans that Palin was named in a newspaper account for picketing A DOCTOR (could there have been only one? Named Bess/Beth something) who performed abortions there. Also, as Daily Kos via HuffingtonPost reports, in Palin's recent interview with Brian Williams she refused to classify people who bomb abortion clinics as terrorists....

eh said...

Regarding abortion, it need not necessarily have anything to do with religion or a 'religious agenda'. It's a fact that a fetus is a biologically and genetically separate (developing) human life, one that is extinguished when an abortion occurs -- i.e. it is not just some part of the woman's body. And you don't have to be some God-lover to acknowledge and be troubled by that.