House Finance takes up abortion funding bills

By By BECKY BOHRER

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The House Finance Committee has voted to strip from an abortion funding bill language that the state make available a women's health program to low-income women.

The language was added to SB49 on the Senate floor last year. That bill, which seeks to further define what constitutes a medically necessary abortion for purposes of Medicaid payments, and a companion House bill were in front of the committee Tuesday.

Sen. John Coghill, the sponsor of SB49, said he preferred not to have the amendment, calling it a mandate beyond services the state already provides.

Much of Tuesday morning's testimony was in opposition to the bills.

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, who's sponsoring the House bill, said she saw it as neither a "pro-life" nor a "pro-choice" bill but rather as a fiscal bill.

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