Alaska Republicans Propose a Law That Lets Alaska Republicans Tell Doctors What Counts as a Medical Emergency
Lawmakers in the Alaska state Legislature think they know better than doctors when it comes to defining a medical emergency, and have introduced a proposal that could tie doctors’ hands when it comes to determining what’s best for their patients in need of abortion care.
The measure would restrict state funding for abortion by restricting the definition of “medically necessary.” Low-income women can access abortion services through the state Medicaid program if the procedure is deemed medically necessary, and it’s these women that lawmakers are targeting with the proposal.
As Lisa Demer at the Anchorage Daily News reports, Republican state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, the sponsor of the House version of the bill, denies that the measure is aimed at limiting people’s access to abortion. “This bill has nothing to do with restricting a women’s right to an abortion,” she said.
When Democratic opponents of the measure raised concern that the medical necessity of other procedures is not determined by state lawmakers, LeDoux said that there wasn’t an issue with other procedures being performed when they weren’t medically necessary. (It does not appear she had anything else to say in support of that conclusion.)