Alaska saw 1,246 unborn babies killed last year, up from 1,229 in 2021, and 1,195 in 2020, but 2022 was still one of the lowest numbers since the state began tracking the deaths 20 years ago.

Like last year, Alaska used its publicly funded Medicaid Program to pay for 44% of all abortions.

This data is based on legally mandated forms submitted by individual abortionists. According to Alaska statute, the state cannot reveal the locations or facilities where the abortions occurred, which means it is impossible to tell which areas of the state are most impacted. Planned Parenthood, however, operates abortion clinics in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau where the vast majority of procedures are likely to take place.

State records go back to 2003. Since then, an average of 1,552 babies have been aborted annually, for a total of 31,041 unborn lives lost over the past two decades. Over this same period, Alaska’s overall fertility rates (the number of live births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44) have plummeted.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, making it possible for individual states to protect unborn life, Alaska continues to be one of the most abortion-friendly states in the union. Abortion has been legal in Alaska since 1970, three years before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Additionally, the Alaska Supreme Court claims there is a fundamental and constitutional right to abortion, even though the issue is never mentioned in the Alaska Constitution. The high court has also ordered Alaska’s executive branch to pay for abortions through state-funded Medicaid. No governor has dared resist the court order, nor has any Legislature attempted to impeach Supreme Court justices for inserting abortion into a state constitution that makes no mention of the practice.

Last year, Alaska saw the continued rise of chemical abortions, which made up 48% of all procedures. This method employs the use of mifepristone, a powerful chemical that is typically used to kill a baby up to 70 days gestation. Mifepristone causes the nourishing placenta to detach from the mother’s uterine wall, thereby starving the developing child. A second drug (misoprostol) is given two days later to force contractions and expel the dead body from the mother’s womb. This method, which requires at least three trips to the abortion facility, often results in women aborting their babies at home or in the workplace, and up to five days after ingesting the drugs. It also comes with serious and well-documented medical side effects, including prolonged, severe bleeding and life-threatening systemic infection. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments last week in a case that could bring an end to the sale of mifepristone.

Suction curettage abortions, which have long been the most frequently used method in Alaska, were the second most common procedure last year, comprising 41% of all abortions in Alaska. Used at up to 17 weeks gestation, this method employs a powerful vacuum to suck the small bodies out through the mother’s cervix.

Birth defects were only reported in three cases, which means most babies were likely healthy at the time they were killed.

Dilation and evacuation was the third most common abortion method in 2022. Used in 10% of cases – and mostly on babies older than 13 weeks gestation – this method may involve a combination of vacuums and surgical instruments to grasp and tear the limbs of the unborn child before they are removed.

Teens – ages 15 to 19 – accounted for 123 of all Alaska abortions last year. Five others were performed on minors younger than 15. Women between the ages of 20 and 29 comprised 57% of all Alaska abortions in 2022. Overall, 64% of abortions were done on unmarried women.

Roughly 53% of women said they had one previous live birth before getting their abortion. Another 130 said they had undergone two or more previous abortions.

Birth defects were only reported in three cases, which means most babies were likely healthy at the time they were killed.

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Alaska abortion report reveals method and age by which 1,246 unborn babies were killed in 2022

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.