- Associated Press - Thursday, December 12, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands has sued over an Alaska law it says limits who can provide abortions.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges a state law and Board of Nursing policy bar advanced practice clinicians from providing early abortion and miscarriage care that they are qualified to provide. This restricts access to abortion and other gynecological care “without medical justification” and violates the rights of women, the lawsuit alleges.

Department of Law spokeswoman Maria Bahr said by email that the department will review the complaint when it receives it and “respond in due course to the court system.”

The complaint cites a provision of law that says an abortion may not be performed in Alaska unless it is performed by a physician licensed by the State Medical Board. The complaint alleges the Board of Nursing has rejected Planned Parenthood’s request to have advanced practice clinicians provide “low-risk aspiration procedures” to treat miscarriages.

Planned Parenthood trains advanced practice clinicians at its clinics in Hawaii and Washington in medication abortion care and the clinicians have been providing medication abortions in these states for years, the lawsuit states.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed from the current-year budget about $335,000 from the court system. The administration said the amount was commensurate to state funding for abortions following an Alaska Supreme Court decision striking down a law and regulation seeking to define what constitutes medically necessary abortions for Medicaid funding. That veto is the subject of a separate court challenge.

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