Point of View: The State should stay out of Alaskans’ health care decisions

As a physician who provides comprehensive reproductive health care, I follow the science and medical evidence in providing care. Because of this, I was concerned to see that on Feb. 10, the State of Alaska joined 22 states in signing a lawsuit against the FDA over the approval of a medication called mifepristone. The decision to back the lawsuit, filed by an anti-abortion group, was signed by Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor.

Alaskans should be genuinely concerned about this. Signing on to this lawsuit shows that our legal resources are being spent taking away the rights of Alaskans.

The litigation argues that mifepristone is unsafe and was too quickly approved by the FDA. Thanks to research performed in the over 20 years since the FDA approved mifepristone, I know that using mifepristone and misoprostol is safe and effective.

Supporters of the attorney general’s brief argue that they are against federal involvement in state laws. Taking this stance is a blatant attempt to apply the independent Alaskan spirit to threaten a right that is protected in our communities.

The issues facing pregnant people in this state are unique to us. We expect the department of law in this state to speak to our needs rather than playing politics with courts in Texas.

Our community would be severely impacted if mifepristone is no longer accessible. The Kenai Peninsula alone covers an area bigger than many states in the Lower 48. There are no abortion providers here. Those who find themselves needing abortions, regardless of the reason, rely on safe and reliable medications such as mifepristone and misoprostol for their health and prosperity.

It is unethical and outrageous to deny access to safe medications that are standard medical care. My practice as a physician should be guided by the most up to date clinical standards, research, and evidence. It should never be guided by the misinformed opinions of extremists.

All Alaskans should be aware of the misguided big-government agendas of those who claim to be supporting individual sovereignty.

Pregnant people and families are already struggling to get the care they need. Our communities deserve more options to meet their needs, not less.

We are a community committed to the collective safety and well-being of where we live and work. Our lands and homes are sacred. We are committed to a future where we can all access the care we need wherever and whenever we need it.

Dr. Robin Holmes is a physician providing primary care and residing in Homer. She is a current fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.