Alaska Dems blast witnesses on abortion bill

The state Democratic party chairman says experts scheduled to testify on an abortion bill are “extremists.”

Mike Wenstrup says John Thorp Jr., Susan Rutherford and Priscilla Coleman have an agenda “utterly inconsistent with the respect for personal freedom and privacy that Alaska’s founders wrote into our Constitution.”

The three are slated to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday on SB49. The bill pertains to which abortions Alaska must pay for under the state Medicaid program. It states the Department of Health and Social Services may not pay for abortion services under the program unless those abortions are medically necessary or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Coghill, says both sides will be allowed to present their case. He characterized Wednesday’s witnesses as credible.