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Alaska court strikes down ‘medically necessary’ abortion law

By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional a state law and regulation seeking to define what constitutes medically necessary abortions.

The court, in a 4-1 decision, upheld a 2015 lower court decision.

Both the law and regulation sought to define what constitutes a medically necessary abortion for purposes of Medicaid funding.

The high court ruled disparate restrictions on government funding for women based on their choice of abortion or childbirth deter the exercise of a fundamental right. That’s because, the court said, rejection of one option entails embrace of the other.

Chief Justice Craig Stowers dissented, saying he believes the Legislature can constitutionally determine as a matter of state policy what is medically necessary for purposes of Medicaid funding.


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