The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit today to challenge Alaska restrictions which effectively ban health centers from providing abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy.
The suit, filed in state court, challenges the constitutionality of regulations on clinics that provide abortion. One restriction requires facilities to have a blood supply on-hand — a requirement that lacks any clear medical justification, especially given the fact that abortion is a very safe procedure. Another regulation under challenge requires clinics to be equipped and staffed for “major” surgery; a requirement that is not only vague but similar to Texas restrictions struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case earlier this year.
Together, the laws make it impossible for clinics to provide abortion care after the first trimester of pregnancy. Alaskan women who need an abortion after the first trimester must fly out of state to actually get one, a restriction that has a particularly harsh effect on low-income women who may have to secure childcare, miss work, and lose wages to access the care that they need and that is their constitutionally-protected right to obtain.