. . .On Tuesday, the state issued an update to a mandate released last month that required non-urgent or elective procedures be canceled or postponed for three months. The update states the intent is to preserve personal protective gear for health care workers and patient care supplies, ensure staff and patient safety and expand available hospital capacity in the midst of dealing with COVID-19.
The update was accompanied by a list of surgeries or procedures that would be considered non-urgent or elective. Under a section for gynecological procedures that “could be delayed for a few weeks,” it lists surgical abortion.
It says healthcare providers “are to postpone surgical abortion procedures unless the life or physical health of the mother is endangered by continuation of the pregnancy during the period of postponement.” The language leaves room for “professional judgment” on the timeframe, state health Commissioner Adam Crum said Tuesday. (Read more from “Alaska Halts Abortions Due to COVID-19” HERE)