State still reviewing abortion regulations

Associated PressSeptember 20, 2012 

JUNEAU -- The state health department is still reviewing proposed regulations for abortion payment conditions, as well as public comment on the plan. The proposed regulation states that as a condition for an abortion provider to be eligible for payment under Medicaid, the invoice must come with a certificate saying the procedure was medically necessary because the health of the woman was endangered by the pregnancy.

A legal opinion requested by state Sen. Hollis French found the phrasing is narrower than the current statutory standard, which doesn't define medically necessary, and "reasonably likely" to be found unconstitutional under a state Supreme Court precedent.

Alaska's health commissioner has said his department didn't intend to restrict the definition and that the department would determine, after reviewing the public comments, whether to make language changes.

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