The impending reversal of Roe v. Wade threatens abortion access in every corner of the country.
On April 8, the Alaska House passed a budget with their version of the Hyde Amendment, which cuts Medicaid funding for abortion. Now, the state senate is taking up the budget. According to the budget:
Page 21, line 33
Delete “Medicaid Services”
Insert “Medicaid Services Except Services for or Relating to Abortion”
A reminder that “Services for or Relating to Abortion” goes beyond abortion, and can include miscarriage and other reproductive health care. And as we’ve seen in Texas with Lizelle Herrera recently, the criminalization of adverse pregnancy outcomes is not too far behind.
Alaska state Rep. Christopher Kurka, former executive director of Alaska Right to Life, introduced the budget amendment to cut Medicaid funding for abortion. Alaska Public Media reported that Kurka has gubernatorial ambitions.
As always, if the amendment is included in the final budget, it’ll hurt the most marginalized: particularly people with disabilities, who make up more than 1 in 3 adult Medicaid enrollees under age 65.
The Alaska Constitution protects the right to choose and the state supreme court has shut down similar efforts to restrict abortion access. What’s more, most Alaskan voters support legal abortion and past attempts to ban abortion haven’t passed the legislature.
But Alaska state Rep. Kevin McCabe summed up the conservative party line best when he said, “I don’t really care if we have to run it through courts 100 times. Let’s run it through the courts. Maybe we’ll get a different outcome.”
So when Roe v. Wade is officially reversed, all bets are off—and Alaskans could be left stranded without essential reproductive care. Literally.
This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.