Alaska’s health commissioner says his department didn’t intend to restrict the definition of a medically necessary abortion in proposed regulations for abortion payment conditions.
Commissioner Bill Streur was responding to Sen. Hollis French, who said the agency is seeking to reinstate criteria overturned by the Alaska Supreme Court.
The court held the state must fund medically necessary abortions if it funds medically necessary services for others with financial needs. A legal opinion requested by French said phrasing used in the proposal is narrower than current law, and “reasonably likely” to be found unconstitutional.
While French asked Streur withdraw the proposal, Streur said the department would determine, after reviewing all public comment, whether to make language changes.
Streur said a court would ultimately decide constitutionality if the adopted regulation were challenged.
- Biologists know cruise ships are affecting seals but not how much.
- The cause of a Hoonah car crash that killed one is still unknown.
- An ambitious plan to develop agricultural land west of Nenana is on hold until the town can find another $5 million to complete work build a bridge across the Nenana River.
- Quintillion will begin work laying subsea fiber optic cable off Nome’s coast the first week of July.