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Abortion bill drops reporting provision

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm •  Published: February 15, 2013

The Alaska Supreme Court has held the state must fund medically necessary abortions if it funds other procedures deemed medically necessary for people in need. Coghill said that with his bill, he is seeking to clarify "under which circumstances it is appropriate for the people of Alaska to pay for an abortion."

The bill would define "medically necessary" abortions as those needed to avoid serious risk to a woman's life or physical health. That could mean a serious risk of death or "impairment of a major bodily function" due to such things as renal disease that requires dialysis; congestive heart failure; coma; or "another physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy" that places the woman's health at risk. Payment would not be allowed for "elective" abortions.

"We asked doctors and lawyers what they would recommend and what would follow the spirit of the Supreme Court's decision," Coghill said. "Senate Bill 49 gets that definition as clean and clear as it can be so that we can answer that constitutional question in a way that's fair for all Alaskans."





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