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.
- President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department sat for a confirmation hearing today, chaired by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She used the opportunity to condemn the Obama administration for its many resource protections in Alaska.
- Jason Coday was ordered to serve a combined sentence of 101 years in prison for the murder of 26-year-old Simone Kim in August 2006.
- The 32nd annual Legislative Welcome Reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall. The event is free and The Prospector Hotel will provide food.
- Dozens of canines howl in John Hanson Jr.’s dog yard, excited by the sound of a snow machine pulling up to the kennel.