There’s a new proposal that opponents says would limit abortions in Alaska.

The commissioner of health and social services, Bill Streur, proposed a new rule that asks doctors for more details about why an abortion is medically necessary. It’s a proposal that’s similar to a law going through the legislature, which was sponsored by Sen. John Coghill.

The proposal would only affect low-income woman who seek an abortion that would be paid for by the state through Medicaid.  

Streur could not comment on the changes because it’s in the public comment period.

Planned Parenthood says the changes are unconstitutional and that it unfairly goes after poor women.

“Absolutely, no question this is about going after the people you can go after, and people you can go after are low income women,” Christine Charbonneau with Planned Parenthood said, “There’s a tremendous injustice built into this.”

Sen. Fred Dyson is a co-sponsor of a bill that’s pending in Juneau that would require similar certification by doctors performing abortions paid for with public funds.

Dyson says that the Hyde Amendment says federal dollars can only pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest or when a mother’s life is in danger.

He says he’s proud DHSS joined the abortion debate.

“Certainly the citizens who want to finance abortions are free to donate and Planned Parenthood is glad to take their donations, but most of the citizens of Alaska are not interested in paying for abortions they consider to be immoral,” Sen. Dyson said.

DHSS is taking public comment on the changes. You can email William.streur@alaska.gov. Comments will be taken until Sept. 27th

Contact Rebecca Palsha