ANCHORAGE -

All of the Republican candidates hoping to oppose Democratic Sen. Mark Begich this fall describe themselves as pro-life.

But the three candidates butted heads over a bill proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) during their first televised forum.

George Taylor of Anchorage wanted to know what the GOP hopefuls think of the Life at Conception Act, a bill that would do what its title suggests – define life as beginning at the moment of conception.

Joe Miller, the 2010 Republican nominee for Senate, described the bill as his top priority.

“It's my commitment that if elected as senator the first thing I will do when I get to D.C. is co-sponsor that legislation,” Miller said.

Former Attorney General Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell each described their own similar beliefs.

“I'm pro-life, born and raised a Catholic,” Sullivan said. He mentioned his three teenage daughters. “You see the ultrasounds and the kids growing up, you understand the sanctity of life.

“I don't think life is a men's issue or a women's issue,” Treadwell said. “It's an issue for all of us.”

Both men conceded, however, that they had not read Paul’s proposal. Miller said that is “telling.”

“The Life at Conception Act has been out for months,” Miller said. “The fact that neither of my opponents are willing to stand up and say today that they'll support it I think is telling,” Miller said.

Treadwell pushed back: “I beg your pardon, I will support legislation that supports the definition of life beginning at conception,” the lieutenant governor said.

So did Sullivan: “As you're U.S. senator, I'll read legislation,” the former attorney general said.

This is part of KTUU's coverage of #AKasks, an hour-long forum hosted by the Alaska Press Club that brought together the GOP candidates for Senate.