Hearing on funding abortions

The Senate Finance committee today heard testimony on a bill that defines which abortions Alaska must pay for under the state Medicaid program.

Senate bill 49 states that the Department of Health and Social Services may NOT pay for abortion services unless those abortions are medically necessary or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.

The bill would define "medically necessary" abortions as those needed to avoid serious risk to a woman's life or physical health.

Payment would not be made for "elective" abortions.