Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor

In an effort to clarify exactly where the State of Alaska stands with regard to the chemical abortion pill, mifepristone, the Alaska Department of Law issued a detailed statement on March 17  regarding the legal status of the deadly abortion drug, while providing  reason for why Attorney General Treg Taylor sent a letter warning Walgreens against distributing the pills.


Below is the Department of Law’s explanation of why it sent the Walgreens letter, and what it means.

Please consider that the legality of dispensing mifepristone is a distinct issue from the legality of abortion access. Abortion is legal in Alaska and is constitutionally protected. However, that does not mean it cannot be regulated, just like other forms of healthcare. The position of the Attorney General is based on the Alaska laws explained below.

Alaska law (AS 18.16.090) defines an abortion to include the use or prescription of a drug to terminate a pregnancy. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the prescription drug mifepristone, when used together with another medicine called misoprostol, is used to end a pregnancy through ten weeks of gestation.

Alaska law (AS 18.16.010(a)(1)) also provides that only licensed physicians may perform abortions. Under the terms of the Superior Court’s preliminary injunction in Planned Parenthood v. State, 3AN-19-11710CI, Advanced Practice Clinicians may also perform medication abortions.

AS 18.16.010(a)(1) has always operated to prohibit the sale of mifepristone directly to patients, whether by mail or in person.

The FDA recently indicated it will remove the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone. The federal government has also encouraged the U.S. Postal Service to disregard federal law prohibiting using the mail to send abortion drugs. Therefore, Attorney General Treg Taylor joined 19 other state attorneys general in letters sent to certain pharmacies advising them that using the mail to send or receive mifepristone violates state and federal law.

The AG letter has not changed the way abortion drugs are available to Alaskan women. Since 2000, Alaska women who seek an abortion have had to see a physician to receive this abortion drug. Under Alaska law, a woman in Alaska who receives a dose of mifepristone does so in a clinical setting. There are telehealth provisions, but no matter what, the pill is still administered in a clinic, where the prescribing doctor is either present or virtually present through telehealth.

There is ongoing litigation in Anchorage Superior Court concerning who may perform an abortion, Planned Parenthood v. State. Under the terms of the Court’s preliminary injunction (a temporary order until the trial is held) another category of health care providers besides doctors called Advanced Practice Clinicians may perform medication abortions. The patient who receives a dose of mifepristone must do so in a clinic, and the prescribing provider is present either physically or virtually through telehealth. Under Alaska law, patients may not self-administer a medication abortion, and that is why the Attorney General joined the letter asking Walgreen’s not to dispense mifepristone directly to patients through the mail.

While the ongoing Planned Parenthood litigation is challenging the constitutionality of AS 18.16.010(a)(1), neither the preliminary injunction nor the permanent injunction sought by Planned Parenthood would authorize the self-administration of a medication abortion by a patient. So, the direct dispensing of mifepristone to patients in Alaska would still violate Alaska law, even if Planned Parenthood’s current lawsuit is successful.


The State of Alaska is not a party to the lawsuit in Texas challenging mifepristone’s approval. Alaska joined a narrowly tailored amicus (“friend of the court”) brief supporting each state’s right to duly enact laws relating to abortion through the democratic process such as our State law, AS 18.16.010.

Click here to read the letter to Walgreens.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Attorney general clarifies Alaska law regarding chemical abortion pill

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • North to Alaska says:

    I agree with him on about everything he wrote accept when he states that “abortion is …. constitutionally protected”. An Alaskan Supreme Court opinion is NOT the constitution.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    A law interpreter with no moral spine! Can we expect anything else in a spineless Dunleavy administration?

    • Richard K CORBeil says:

      Where was his error? What did he misinterpret?

      • DaveMaxwell says:

        Richard; children are the real subject here! I would strongly advise you to get back to basics and protect the ones you created with your wife! Enough of the stupid distractions and shiny objects! Arrogance is especially problematic when it finds a comfortable home in the ignorant! The Dunleavy administration has consistently shown a disregard for the protection/ education/ health concerns for our children!
        This is probably because of the carbon pollution occurring in his brain!
        Impeachment dunleavy

  • Robert Bird says:

    Abortion IS NOT “constitutionally protected”. It is “judicially protected”. And only by tea-leaf reading through convoluted case law. It is, however, “legally protected”, but “legal” and “moral” are, as any oppressed minority could tell you, two different things. It would be nice if the various vaunted and over-blown office holders governors and AGs would actually understand that “constitutions” and “case law” are two different things.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Thank you for pointing this out! I am surprised that the AG put that in this explanation!

  • Tamra Nygaard says:

    The biggest problem with pharmacies dispensing this unsafe medicine is that they are not liable when the person who takes it either misuses it, gives it to someone else, or has some of the many vile complications it causes. I doubt there is a pharmacist who will make the house call when a woman or girl is bleeding to death because of these drugs; they will simply tell the person to call a doctor. Of course, from our point of view, it is murder of the baby and possible murder of the mother, but the atheists don’t see it that way. They are now willing to sacrifice even the mother so that babies can be killed; evil incarnate. However, regardless of how this lawsuit works out, it will still be illegal for Walgreens or any other pharamacy to dispense these drugs outside of a doctor’s office, so take heart. At least the mothers will have a reasonable chance to survive the murders, even if they are hideously wounded from killing their own children.

  • Clark says:

    Post-market research was done on over 1.5 million women who took the drug. Adverse events happened in only 0.15% of cases. That is considered extremely safe. There is no credible claim that the drug is ‘deadly’ or that it ‘hideously wounds’ anyone. It commonly causes vaginal cramping and some bleeding. Which is pretty par for the course for women of child-bearing age who do that to a worse degree every month anyways.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Clark, abstinence is 100% effective and no bad side effects or adverse reactions.

    • Richard K CORBeil says:

      Correct me if I am wrong, but does it not kill every child involved?

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Clark are you in transition?