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Alaska

State Constitutional Protection

The Alaska Constitution protects the right to choose as a fundamental right and to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  The Alaska Supreme Court struck down under the state's constitutional right to privacy a "quasi-public" hospital's policy barring abortion services at the facility and declared a state statute immunizing persons and hospitals from liability for refusing to participate in abortion care invalid as applied to "quasi-public" institutions.  Valley Hosp. Ass'n v. Mat-Su Coalition for Choice, 948 P.2d 963 (Alaska 1997).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989).

The Alaska Supreme Court held that a regulation limiting state medical assistance for abortion to cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest was unconstitutional under the state constitution because it prohibited reimbursement for medically necessary abortion services.  State v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska, Inc., 28 P.3d 904 (Alaska 2001).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).

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