Rep. Sharon Cissna’s (D-Anchorage) colleagues in the legislature are expecting her back in the state capitol on Thursday.
House Democrats applauded Cissna’s decision to leave the Seattle-Tacoma airport after she refused a pat-down. She had already been through a body scan, but according to Cissna’s chief of staff, TSA officials called for further scrutiny because the scan revealed the lawmaker had had a mastectomy.
“I feel really proud of Sharon,” said House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau). “I think she stood up for thousands of Americans who are saying ‘Why, when a woman has had a mastectomy, does she have to go through this?’”
“We’re glad to have somebody stand up as we’ve all fantasized about doing the same thing,” said Minority Whip Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).
Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) said there’s nothing the legislature can do to prevent similar problems from occurring, but he said he hopes Cissna’s actions send a message to the TSA.
“There’s something missing from their process that they need to take a better look at,” Guttenberg said.
Gov. Sean Parnell later in the day said that he was sorry to hear about what happened to Cissna, but that he does not yet know if there's anything the state will do in response.
The TSA said Monday that it’s sensitive to the concerns of passengers who are not satisfied with their screening experience and it invites those individuals to provide feedback.
The Alaska Marine Highway vessel Matanuska believed to be carrying Rep. Cissna left Prince Rupert, BC Tuesday morning and is scheduled to arrive in Juneau on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.