Abortions are no longer between a woman and her doctor in Alaska.
On Tuesday, Alaska Superior Court Judge Josie Garton issued a preliminary injunction blocking a state law that requires abortions to be done by licensed physicians, Alaska Public Media reports.
The ruling means that, at least temporarily, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives may provide chemical, or drug-induced, abortions in Alaska. Surgical abortions still must be done by licensed physicians.
The judge’s order was the result of a lawsuit that Planned Parenthood filed in 2019 to challenge the state health law. The abortion chain claims the law is “without medical justification,” but pro-life leaders said it protects women from unsafe abortions.
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Currently, 37 states require abortions to be performed by a licensed physician, according to the Guttmacher Institute. However, the number used to be higher.
Other state laws are targets of similar lawsuits, including Idaho and Wisconsin. Maine also faced a lawsuit, but pro-abortion state lawmakers passed a law in 2019 to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to abort unborn babies.
In 2015, California also passed a law allowing non-doctors to abort unborn babies. These laws have put countless women and their unborn babies at risk. One study found that abortions done by non-physicians were twice as likely to have complications as those done by licensed physicians.
Despite the risks, Hawaii passed a similar law earlier this year, allowing advanced practice registered nurses to do first-trimester abortions either with abortion drugs or by the surgical aspiration method.
Allowing nurses to abort unborn babies is one of the ways the abortion industry hopes to prop up its life-destroying business. Abortion rates are dropping and abortion clinics have been closing, in part, because fewer doctors are willing to abort unborn babies.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 1982, there were 2,918 abortion doctors practicing in America, but by 2011, there were only 1,720. A number of abortion clinics also have closed in the past few years because abortionists retired and no one was willing to take their places, according to a 2016 Bloomberg study.