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.
- Alaska Native people gather before Alaska Day in Sitka to share knowledge and to heal.
- When you toss a candy wrapper in the trash in five Southeast Alaska communities, you’re sending it on a thousand-mile journey to a Lower 48 landfill.
- The Canadian DJ collective is playing Centennial Hall with Woosh.ji.een Dance Group. They combine traditional Pow Wow songs with elements of hip-hop to promote inclusivity and representation of First Nations peoples.
- It’s not clear whether independent Gov. Bill Walker will run in the primary. A campaign spokesperson said Walker could not comment because it is a pending legal matter to which the state is a party.