Alaska House Committee Approves Revised Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 22, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alaska House Committee Approves Revised Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 22,

Juneau, AK ( — The Alaska House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Monday that would update the language in the state’s partial-birth abortion ban to conform to the language of the federal ban. The Supreme Court, last April, upheld the federal ban as Constitutional — a reversal of a 2000 decision saying a health exception was necessary.

The bill is expected to head to the full House eventually for a debate and vote.

The committee did not hear debate from anyone opposing the measure but Anchorage Democrat Lindsey Holmes proposed an amendment to weaken the bill. She wanted to allow the three-day-long abortion procedure in cases when she claims it may be necessary to protect a woman’s physical or mental health.

However, doctors groups have confirmed that a partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary and reports indicate abortion presents a host of mental health and physical health problems for women.

"I’m sure we’ll be in a for a fight here," she told the Associated Press. "Generally, I err on the side of the woman and her doctor and not making health care a Class C felony."

John Coghill, a North Pole Republican, sponsored the bill with Republican Wes Keller of Wasilla.

"It’s obviously a hot topic," Coghill told AP. "I thought we were going to have more of a legal discussion than we did, but I expect we will have more soon."

Coghill is also the legislator behind a measure that would put parental consent on the state ballot after the Alaska Supreme Court struck down a consent measure last year. The court appeared to indicate that it would be fine with a measure that simply required notification before the abortion.