JUNEAU, Alaska – Following the lead of the Trump Administration to strip away access to reproductive health care, the Senate Health and Social Services Committee held its second hearing on SJR 13, a bill that would amend the Alaska Constitution to state that there is no constitutional right to an abortion. More than 150 people signed up to testify against the legislation, and opposition outnumbered support by two to one. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Shelley Hughes is an extreme bill that proposes to permanently amend the Alaska Constitution and pave the way for banning safe and legal abortion.
“This bill would make it so there is no constitutional right to abortion in Alaska. Sen. Hughes and Sen. Coghill continue to do everything they can to ban abortion in the state. This bill and others like it put people’s health and lives in jeopardy, leading to worse health outcomes for pregnant people. When Alaska is already a nationwide leader in poor indicators of sexual and reproductive health, and has some of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy, STIs, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault, it is reprehensible that our elected officials are working to restrict care, not expand it. On top of this, the people of Alaska don’t want these restrictions. Nearly 8-in-10 Alaskans say they don’t want to see ‘laws passed that ban abortion in the state Legislature.’
“When abortion access is restricted, we know what happens. People have to travel hundreds of miles, leave the state, or wait weeks to get an abortion — all to access basic health care, if they can access services at all. Sens. Hughes and Coghill know this, but they continue to follow the Trump administration’s lead and push bad public health policies that are unpopular and dangerous. We won’t stand for it, and we will keep fighting to push policies that protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care.”