Legislature(2007 - 2008)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/10/2008 06:00 PM FINANCE


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06:09:09 PM Start
06:10:09 PM HB364
08:11:33 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ HB 364 NOTICE & CONSENT FOR MINOR'S ABORTION TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 364                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to  notice and  consent for  a minor's                                                                   
     abortion;  relating  to   penalties  for  performing  an                                                                   
     abortion;  relating to a  judicial bypass procedure  for                                                                   
     an abortion; relating to  coercion of a minor to have an                                                                   
     abortion; relating  to reporting of  abortions performed                                                                   
     on minors;  amending Rule  24(a), Alaska Rules  of Civil                                                                   
     Procedure, amending Rule  220, Alaska Rules of Appellate                                                                   
     Procedure, and  Rule 20, Alaska Probate  Rules, relating                                                                   
     to judicial  bypass for an  abortion; and  providing for                                                                   
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:10:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN COGHILL, SPONSOR,  introduced HB  364 as                                                                   
the  culmination of  a  ten-year debate  in  the courts.  The                                                                   
Parental Consent Act (PCA) was  legislated in 1997. That same                                                                   
year and again  in 2007, the Alaska Supreme  Court determined                                                                   
that  the  PCA  was unconstitutional  because  the  right  to                                                                   
privacy extended to minors.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Coghill reminded  the Committee that the issue                                                                   
of the bill  is not abortion but  the role of parents  in the                                                                   
decision of  a minor to  have an abortion.  He read  from the                                                                   
Sponsor Statement:  "HB 364  enacts the notification  process                                                                   
that the  Court determined  is the  least restrictive  means"                                                                   
(Copy on File).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill  pointed out  that  the current  bill                                                                   
leaves  intact the  four  exemptions from  parental  consent:                                                                   
"Married minors,  minors who  have been legally  emancipated,                                                                   
minors  who have  entered the  armed services  of the  United                                                                   
States,  and  minors  who  have  become  employed  and  self-                                                                   
subsisting." The bill allows three responses:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   1. The parent is involved in the decision whether to have                                                                    
      the abortion.                                                                                                             
   2. The minor by-passes the parental notification and                                                                         
      consent process through showing good reason.                                                                              
   3. If the minor is physically or sexually abused or has a                                                                    
      history of emotional abuse, there are provisions so                                                                       
      that the minor can proceed without parental                                                                               
      notification and consent.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:14:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill asserted  that the  parent should  be                                                                   
involved in the decision unless  there is a compelling reason                                                                   
for them not to be involved.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill  explained the  details  of the  bill                                                                   
("Sectional for Version 'E'," Copy on File), including:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
    · Sec. 1. Adds a notice requirement to the consent                                                                          
       requirement.                                                                                                             
    · Sec. 2. Shifts the burden of proof for prosecution of                                                                     
       a physician who performs an abortion.                                                                                    
    · Sec. 3. Specifies conditions under which a doctor can                                                                     
       perform  an abortion:  parental  consent, court  order                                                                   
       waiving  notification and  consent (judicial  bypass),                                                                   
       constructive  consent,  and  bypass  of  the  judicial                                                                   
       bypass.                                                                                                                  
    · Secs. 4 & 5. Adds notice to process for filing for                                                                        
       judicial bypass.                                                                                                         
    · Sec. 8. Provides for a minor requesting a judicial                                                                        
       bypass.                                                                                                                  
    · Sec. 9. A new section prohibiting a parent or other                                                                       
       person from coercing a pregnant minor to have an                                                                         
       abortion.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:22:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill stressed  that the Legislature  needs                                                                   
to intercede.  He said the courts  have struck down  the PCA,                                                                   
which  means parents  have  an absolute  barrier  if a  child                                                                   
chooses not to involve the parent  in the decision to have an                                                                   
abortion.  Parents have  had the  right to  intercede in  all                                                                   
other  medical procedures.  He  acknowledged  that there  are                                                                   
parents who treat girls poorly  and said the bill has allowed                                                                   
for that. The courts have said  that the fundamental right of                                                                   
the parent is  balanced against the fundamental  right of the                                                                   
child. The  bill is an  attempt to set  the balance  right in                                                                   
the  direction  of  parents'  rights by  using  some  of  the                                                                   
courts' own logic.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill stated that  he believed  the default                                                                   
position in Alaska should be that  parents be involved in the                                                                   
decision.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:25:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer opened for questions to the Sponsor.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  searched  for common  ground  with  the                                                                   
Sponsor.  They both  wanted  to limit  abortions  as much  as                                                                   
possible. He voiced concerns about  telling a child that they                                                                   
have to get consent from an abusive parent.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara stated that  he did not like the judicial                                                                   
bypass because  he does  not want  a child  to have  to prove                                                                   
abuse  to  the  court.  He prefers  the  alternative  of  the                                                                   
affidavit. He  maintained that a  child who fears  an abusive                                                                   
parent will  not go to court.  He wanted the bill  to specify                                                                   
that  the child  does not  need  consent from  anyone if  the                                                                   
minor signs  an affidavit, under  penalties of  perjury, that                                                                   
they  genuinely fear  abuse. He  had trouble  with the  child                                                                   
having to get another person to sign.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:28:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Coghill replied  that there are safety nets in                                                                   
the system for  a young person caught in a pattern  of abuse.                                                                   
He thought  the bill  broadened the  safety net by  including                                                                   
parents.  He  argued that  abortion  is  a big  decision.  He                                                                   
wanted  to be  sure  there was  trustworthy  support for  the                                                                   
child. He thought an affidavit was absolutely necessary.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  responded  that  the  child  should  be                                                                   
protected  without delaying  the  abortion  until the  second                                                                   
trimester.  He  said if  the  Sponsor  wants to  protect  the                                                                   
child, the  bill could say that  the child gets the  right to                                                                   
choose at  the point  when she files  the affidavit  with the                                                                   
doctor. The  doctor would  have to report  the abuse  and the                                                                   
child  would be  protected that  way. Representative  Coghill                                                                   
said that if there is abuse, he  wants it reported. He agreed                                                                   
a doctor could make notification of abuse.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:32:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  restated  his  desire  to  find  common                                                                   
ground. He  revisited the steps  a child could take.  He said                                                                   
the problem with the bill as written  is the child cannot get                                                                   
her affidavit  accepted without another adult  signature. Too                                                                   
much time has  passed. Once the child states  under penalties                                                                   
of perjury  that they are in  danger, he thought  that should                                                                   
be enough.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Coghill  thought there might not have  to be a                                                                   
time problem. He imagined a scenario  where a child could get                                                                   
immediate   help.  He   reminded   the   Committee  than   an                                                                   
emancipated minor  is already able to make  the decision. The                                                                   
child who is  not emancipated needs help anyway.  However, if                                                                   
it  is  just  between  the  child  and  the  doctor,  he  was                                                                   
concerned that doctors might not do the right thing.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze observed the  common ground is recognizing                                                                   
the youth of the  minor and the shared desire  to protect the                                                                   
child.  He  wondered  how  much  Representative  Coghill  has                                                                   
compromised on HB  364 already and how much  further he would                                                                   
be able to compromise.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:36:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill responded that  there were  things he                                                                   
would  prefer  not to  have  in  the  bill, but  the  courts'                                                                   
rulings affect the situation.  He has difficulty with minor's                                                                   
ability to go ahead with the abortion  when the courts do not                                                                   
take  action. He  hoped  that those  who  helped young  girls                                                                   
would be  reasonable.  He reiterated his  strong belief  that                                                                   
the courts missed the balance in excluding parents.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  queried as to the youngest  age a child                                                                   
could  have  to make  the  decision.  Representative  Coghill                                                                   
thought  that would  be whatever  age the child  was able  to                                                                   
conceive.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:39:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault opened public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KIM M.  BOIDIKER, FAIRBANKS  (Testified via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of  HB 364. She  relayed a personal  story.                                                                   
She thought it important for parents  to be involved in their                                                                   
child's decision to have an abortion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER ANDRULLI  (Testified via teleconference),  (Statement                                                                   
read by  another testifier) spoke  in support of HB  364. She                                                                   
described  her family  and  told a  story  of her  daughter's                                                                   
involvement with a man over the  internet. She thought having                                                                   
the  law on  their side  enabled  the parents  to help  their                                                                   
daughter.  She related stories  involving abortion  providers                                                                   
and Planned Parenthood. She thought  only parents should have                                                                   
the right to provide guidance for minor daughters.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ANNIE  DOUGHERTY, FAIRBANKS  (Testified via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in support  of HB 364. She felt the bill  is written to                                                                   
protect girls.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:47:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara pointed  out that  there is no  evidence                                                                   
that  Planned  Parenthood  did   the  things  testifiers  had                                                                   
accused them of doing.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault asked testifiers  to stick to the issue and                                                                   
not make accusations.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JASON  SOIGERS,  FAIRBNAKS  (Testified  via  teleconference),                                                                   
testified in support  of HB 364. He described  the dangers of                                                                   
abortion.  He would  be  outraged if  his  daughter made  the                                                                   
decision on her own. He referred  to women who are now coming                                                                   
forward to say how wounded they are from the procedure.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RACHELLE  RENNER, FAIRBANKS  (Testified via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of HB  364. She listed  the things  a young                                                                   
person has  to get permission  to do and thought  they should                                                                   
not be able to have an abortion without permission.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:50:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  RENNER,   FAIRBANKS  (Testified  via   teleconference),                                                                   
testified in  favor of HB 364.  He talked about  his children                                                                   
and worried  children would take  advantage of  the loopholes                                                                   
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLOVER SIMON,  CEO, PLANNED  PARENTHOOD OF ALASKA,  ANCHORAGE                                                                   
(Testified  via teleconference),  spoke in  opposition  to HB                                                                   
364. She pointed out that all  providers and staff at Planned                                                                   
Parent  are  mandated  reporters.   She  said  permission  is                                                                   
required  in  schools  for  children  to  take  medicine  for                                                                   
insurance   and  liability   reasons.  Planned   Parenthood's                                                                   
experience  is  that  parents  are already  involved  in  the                                                                   
decisions of young  people; teens come into  the clinics with                                                                   
their parents. Addressing the  fiscal notes, she wondered who                                                                   
would  pay for the  costs of  the judicial  bypass and  other                                                                   
expenses. She  stated concerns about the  mandated reporters.                                                                   
The process  can take weeks,  delaying the teen  from getting                                                                   
the medical  care she needs. She  pointed out that  a similar                                                                   
law was recently  struck down by the Supreme  Court. She said                                                                   
abortion  is about  ten  times safer  for  teens than  giving                                                                   
birth.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:57:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara said that  one of the reasons the Supreme                                                                   
Court struck  the previous  statute down  was the time  issue                                                                   
between  when a  minor notices  she's pregnant  and when  the                                                                   
first trimester  ends. He wondered if Planned  Parenthood had                                                                   
information  on when  a young  woman  notices pregnancy.  Ms.                                                                   
Simon  replied  that  in  general   teens  delay  getting  an                                                                   
abortion until the tenth or eleventh  week, which leaves only                                                                   
two  weeks in  the  first tri-semester.  Representative  Gara                                                                   
asked how long the bypass and  appeal process would take. Ms.                                                                   
Simon responded  that the process  would take  eleven working                                                                   
days,  without  the  bypass.  If the  young  woman  had  been                                                                   
sexually  assaulted,  the bypass  to  the bypass  would  take                                                                   
longer. Her experience has been  that the process is lengthy.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara reiterated  his concerns about additional                                                                   
delays. He asked  if a person could get an  elective abortion                                                                   
in Alaska  after the  first trimester.  Ms. Simon said  there                                                                   
are no  providers for second  trimester elective  abortion in                                                                   
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:00:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY   GOODNIGHT,   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS   MANAGER,   PLANNED                                                                   
PARENTHOOD  OF ALASKA (Testified  via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in opposition of HB 364. She described  her good relationship                                                                   
with  her parents,  but she  could  not talk  to her  parents                                                                   
about everything.  She thought  the bill would  create almost                                                                   
insurmountable  obstacles  and  dangerous  delays  for  girls                                                                   
afraid  to report.  She  urged the  Legislature  to fund  the                                                                   
safety  net that  teens need  to  have real  choices to  have                                                                   
children:   medical   care,   after-school   and   recreation                                                                   
programs, child care and educational  opportunities for young                                                                   
mothers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:06:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREG  SCHMIDT, BOARD,  ALASKA FAMILY  COUNCIL (Testified  via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke in support HB  364. He does  not like                                                                   
outside  entities involved  in  such intimate  decisions.  He                                                                   
worried that  the choice to abort  could cause many  years of                                                                   
trauma.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:08:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN SMITH, ANCHORAGE (Testified  via teleconference), spoke                                                                   
in opposition of HB 364. She spoke  to abortion complications                                                                   
for young  girls who are afraid  to get help.  She  related a                                                                   
personal story and encouraged  that each young girl determine                                                                   
what the  correct medical treatment  should be.   She pleaded                                                                   
that dollars be placed into prevention  and sex education for                                                                   
teens.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:15:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARLA UTTER, ANCHORAGE (Testified  via teleconference), spoke                                                                   
in favor  of HB 364.  She echoed comments  made by  Ms. Simon                                                                   
and Ms. Goodnight.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KATHLEEN  GUSTAFSON, PRESIDENT,  BOARD  OF DIRECTORS,  FAMILY                                                                   
PLANNING  CLINIC,   HOMER  (Testified  via   teleconference),                                                                   
testified in  strong opposition to  HB 364.  She  stated that                                                                   
abortion  is  a legal  procedure  for  anyone old  enough  to                                                                   
become  pregnant.   Respect and  trust between  a parent  and                                                                   
child cannot be legislated.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:18:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  LINDSLEY, HAINES,  (CURRENTLY  A STUDENT  IN  PORTLAND,                                                                   
OREGON) (Testified  via teleconference), spoke  in support of                                                                   
HB 364.  She noted that  she is 18  years old and  wanted her                                                                   
peers to have  access to safe  health care.  The goal  of the                                                                   
legislation  is noble, but  it approaches  the intent  in the                                                                   
wrong  way.   Some  youth  do not  live  in safe  homes.  She                                                                   
thought abortion  is a personal  decision. The  court process                                                                   
is too lengthy for a young woman  to consider all options and                                                                   
could result  in dangerous  behavior. If  the State  wants to                                                                   
reduce the  number of abortions,  it should implement  a more                                                                   
thorough sex education program.   Parents should not have the                                                                   
right to  make decisions that  will affect the rest  of their                                                                   
daughters' lives.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:22:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  MINNEREY,  PRESIDENT,  ALASKA   FAMILY  COUNCIL,  JUNEAU                                                                   
(Testified via  teleconference), testified in support  of the                                                                   
legislation. He spoke to the need  for parental consent for a                                                                   
wide range  of activities  and procedures.  He referred  to a                                                                   
Massachusetts  study  of young  people  who  had pursued  the                                                                   
judicial  by-pass,   which  found  that  half   had  positive                                                                   
relationships with  their parents.   Only a small  portion of                                                                   
those in the study had fear of  some kind of parental harm if                                                                   
they told  their parents.  He  thought the issue is  the fear                                                                   
of  restrictions  in  the  pro-choice  group.    He  reviewed                                                                   
examples of courts and doctors supporting parental consent.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA SAMASH,  JUNEAU (Testified via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in  support  of HB  364.  She  has a  teenage  daughter.  Her                                                                   
religious beliefs  affect her stance. She related  a personal                                                                   
story. She thought girls needed  their parents most when they                                                                   
had to make such a difficult decision.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DEBBIE JOSLIN, EAGLE FORUM ALASKA,  DELTA JUNCTION (Testified                                                                   
via teleconference),  spoke in support of HB  364. She stated                                                                   
her  personal   beliefs  regarding   abortion.  She   thought                                                                   
parents' right to raise their children is sacred.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CATHY COTTON, DELTA JUNCTION (Testified  via teleconference),                                                                   
testified in support of the bill.  She thought it made common                                                                   
sense for parents to be involved in the decision.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JANET CREPPS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR,  LEGAL CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE                                                                   
RIGHTS (Testified  via teleconference),  spoke in  opposition                                                                   
to HB 364. She litigated the case  regarding the PCA from its                                                                   
inception in  1997, including  arguing the case  twice before                                                                   
the Alaska  Supreme Court. She  had two points about  HB 364.                                                                   
First, the proposal is clearly  unconstitutional. The Court's                                                                   
decision  is binding  precedence and  the Legislature  should                                                                   
recognize   and   apply  that   when   considering   parental                                                                   
involvement requirements.  House Bill  364 not only  fails to                                                                   
meet the  standard laid out by  the Supreme Court,  but seeks                                                                   
to impose even harsher and more  onerous burdens than the law                                                                   
that was  struck down.  The addition  of the so-called  abuse                                                                   
exception  and  changes  to  the   by-pass  do  not  fix  the                                                                   
fundamental flaw  that parental consent is  unconstitutional.                                                                   
If enacted  the law  would be  one of  the harshest  parental                                                                   
involvement  laws in  the country.  The  notice provision  is                                                                   
burdensome and  requires minors and their parents  to undergo                                                                   
multiple  steps. In  most states  that require  notice and  a                                                                   
waiting period  before a  minor can  obtain an abortion,  the                                                                   
waiting period  can be waived  if the parent consents  to the                                                                   
procedure, which is not the case in HB 364.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Crepps outlined her second  point. The bill, if passed as                                                                   
written,  will be  subject  to a  legal  challenge and  found                                                                   
unconstitutional  and the State  will have  to foot  the bill                                                                   
for unnecessary and expensive litigation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:42:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked for  details of the costs resulting                                                                   
from the last parental consent  statute. Ms. Crepps confirmed                                                                   
that  the  cost  of state  legal  counsel  was  $790,000.  In                                                                   
addition,   the  State   hired   a  private   law  firm   for                                                                   
approximately   $300,000,   which   does  not   include   the                                                                   
additional  costs   that  were  incurred  by   the  Fairbanks                                                                   
District Attorney's office, which  also represented the State                                                                   
in  the case.  Representative Gara  wanted to  hear from  the                                                                   
State's attorneys regarding the totals for that litigation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  also wanted  to  know  how much  public                                                                   
representation  cost in  states  where parental  consult  has                                                                   
been  upheld  for a  child  who  goes  to court.  Ms.  Crepps                                                                   
replied that  most of the states  are not tracking  the costs                                                                   
of public advocates. She explained  that states with judicial                                                                   
bypass, which are  the states not only with  parental consent                                                                   
but    parental   notice,    uniformly   provide    appointed                                                                   
representation, the costs of which are borne by the public.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara stated that  HB 364  is very similar  to                                                                   
the statute struck  down by the Supreme Court  and he advised                                                                   
that it  would happen again. He  thought the cost  issues are                                                                   
important  and wanted to  hear from  the Department  of Labor                                                                   
and the Public Defenders regarding potential costs.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault referred to  a note from the courts and the                                                                   
Department of Law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara pointed out  that costs to the State from                                                                   
defending young women should also be pursued.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault answered  that  all departments  would  be                                                                   
asked for fiscal notes pertaining to the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly   grilled  Ms.  Crepps   regarding  her                                                                   
parental  status  and  beliefs  about  abortion.  Ms.  Crepps                                                                   
thought  the question  was irrelevant.  Representative  Kelly                                                                   
asked her about  her beliefs regarding parental  consent. Ms.                                                                   
Crepps  replied that  she thought  a minor  had the right  to                                                                   
make life-altering decisions.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:48:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  turned to page 7 of the  bill, regarding                                                                   
coercion  of  a minor  to  have  an abortion  through  force,                                                                   
threat of  force, deprivation  of food, support,  or shelter.                                                                   
He asked  if it was then  all right to  do the same  thing to                                                                   
require the minor to deliver a  pregnancy to term. Ms. Crepps                                                                   
replied that  no minor  should be coerced  by her  parents to                                                                   
make life-altering decisions either  way. As a matter of law,                                                                   
this  raises  equal protection  concerns  regarding  treating                                                                   
minors who make a decision to  carry to term differently than                                                                   
minors who decide to terminate a pregnancy.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  referred to the provision  requiring the                                                                   
48-hour waiting  period and discussion  in the  Supreme Court                                                                   
case  regarding the  collapsing  time period  between when  a                                                                   
young  woman  is  aware  of pregnancy  and  when  the  bypass                                                                   
proceeding  is  complete.  Ms. Crepps  thought  the  built-in                                                                   
delay would give the courts concern.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:52:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN   BRETZ,   ALASKA  FAMILY   COUNCIL   (Testified   via                                                                   
teleconference), spoke  in support of HB 364.  She thought it                                                                   
should  be obvious  that children  need  parents involved  in                                                                   
their lives. She referred to the  movie "Juno," which depicts                                                                   
a young woman involving her parents  in her decision to carry                                                                   
a child to term.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
KATE LINDSLEY,  HAINES (Testified via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in opposition  to HB 364. She  is 16 years old and  feels the                                                                   
bill  is  relevant  to  both herself  and  her  friends.  She                                                                   
thought the court is not being  practical in its assumptions.                                                                   
The bill is not applicable to  all girls. She can talk to her                                                                   
mother, but  not everyone can.  Good communication  cannot be                                                                   
mandated by the  State. Parents should not have  the right to                                                                   
compel a child to have a child  any more than they should not                                                                   
be able  to compel them to  have an abortion.  She introduced                                                                   
her mother, Michelle Tarrott, who had also come to testify.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  TARROTT,  HAINES  (Testified  via  teleconference),                                                                   
vehemently opposed the bill. She  said her two teen daughters                                                                   
motivated her  to testify. She believes the  issues addressed                                                                   
by  HB  364  are  highly  personal  and  does  not  want  the                                                                   
government  mandating  that her  children  talk  to her.  The                                                                   
State  needs  better  sex education  and  clinics,  not  more                                                                   
restrictions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WAYNE HUNTER,  RIGHT TO LIFE (Testified  via teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in favor of HB 364 and thought  it represented the will                                                                   
of  the people  of Alaska.  He thought  the after-affects  of                                                                   
abortion  was   harder  on  teen  girls  than   grown  women.                                                                   
Involving parents in the process  can increase the chances of                                                                   
a youngster making a truly informed decision.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:06:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC TESTIMONY CLOSED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer stated that the  intent was not to take action                                                                   
on the  bill but to take  testimony. He referred  to possible                                                                   
amendments. He  asked if there were additional  questions for                                                                   
the Sponsor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara referred to  page 2, line 29, which zones                                                                   
in on his biggest concerns. Currently  a person does not have                                                                   
to get a judicial bypass if a  doctor determines that a delay                                                                   
will cause  a serious  risk of  substantial and  irreversible                                                                   
impairment. That has  been changed in HB 364  to add "medical                                                                   
instability  caused   by  a"  substantial   and  irreversible                                                                   
impairment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Coghill responded  that (g) under Sec. 2 gives                                                                   
the physician  a rebuttable defense for these  reasons: life,                                                                   
health,  and medical  emergency.  The section  Representative                                                                   
Gara  referred   to  is  under  the  definition   of  medical                                                                   
emergency. He  said the  intent is to  define what  a medical                                                                   
emergency is and  whether the young girl is  medically stable                                                                   
or if it would create instability.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:09:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara said his concern  was that the definition                                                                   
could  be  interpreted  to  mean   having  to  prove  medical                                                                   
instability.  He did  not want  to insert  a standard  beyond                                                                   
substantial  and   irreversible  impairment.   Representative                                                                   
Coghill responded  that the bill is trying  to define whether                                                                   
an  emergency exists.  Representative  Gara  proposed that  a                                                                   
delay  would  cause  the  emergency.  Representative  Coghill                                                                   
replied  that   the  standard  is  good  faith   and  medical                                                                   
judgment.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:11:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer asked  that the  amendments  be submitted  by                                                                   
Wednesday evening.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB  364  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in  Committee   for  further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects