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Alaska

Abortion Ban

AFTER 12 WEEKS

Alaska has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban that outlaws abortion procedures as early as 12 weeks.  Alaska Stat. § 18.16.050 (Enacted 1997).

A court held that Alaska's ban is unconstitutional under the state constitution because the ban is "void for vagueness" and has issued a permanent injunction prohibiting its enforcement.  Planned Parenthood of Alaska, Inc. v. State, No. 3AN-97 6019 CIV (Alaska Super. Ct. Mar. 13, 1998), appeal dismissed, No. S-08610 (Alaska July 17, 2000).  Alaska's law makes the provision of any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony, unless it is necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury and no other medical procedure will suffice.  Alaska Stat. § 18.16.050 (Enacted 1997).  The U.S. Supreme Court held that a similar ban that has no exception to protect a woman's health and that bans more than one procedure places an undue burden on a woman's right to choose and is unconstitutional.  Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000).

There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law.  The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health.  In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure. Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.


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