Parnell signs abortion bill

(Photo distributed by Alaska Senate Majority)

(Photo distributed by Alaska Senate Majority)

Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a bill that restricts state Medicaid payments for abortions.

The new law puts a set of recently adopted regulations into statute, and takes them a step further. It specifies that the state will not pay for elective abortions. It also limits the term “medically necessary” to cases where a woman’s life or physical health is at risk. The regulations had included a mental health exception.

The new law is expected to be challenged in court. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are already suing the state over the existing regulations, arguing that they violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Last year, the state’s Medicaid program covered about a third of the 1,500 abortions performed in Alaska.

Previous Coverage:
  State House passes bill limiting Medicaid payments for abortion
   Final vote on abortion bill delayed after divisive amendment process
  Abortion bill advances on tight vote
  Family planning services axed from abortion bill
  Court temporarily suspends restrictions on Medicaid-funded abortions
  Planned Parenthood tries to block abortion regulation