Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/08/2001 03:02 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                         March 8, 2001                                                                                          
                           3:02 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fred Dyson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Gary Stevens                                                                                                     
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 43                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to reimbursement of certain student loans; and                                                                 
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 43(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 112                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  information  and  services  available  to                                                               
pregnant women  and other persons; and  ensuring informed consent                                                               
before an abortion  may be performed, except in  cases of medical                                                               
emergency."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 43                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE:STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS                                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)GREEN                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
01/10/01     0049       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
01/10/01     0049       (H)        EDU, HES, FIN                                                                                
01/12/01     0073       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): KERTTULA                                                                       
02/07/01                (H)        EDU AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
02/07/01                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
02/07/01                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
02/14/01                (H)        EDU AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
02/14/01                (H)        Moved CSHB 43(EDU) Out of                                                                    
                                   Committee                                                                                    
02/14/01                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
02/16/01     0341       (H)        EDU RPT CS(EDU) NT 2DP 5NR                                                                   
02/16/01     0341       (H)        DP: GREEN, WILSON; NR:                                                                       
                                   STEVENS, JOULE,                                                                              
02/16/01     0341       (H)        GUESS, PORTER, BUNDE                                                                         
02/16/01     0341       (H)        FN1: (EED)                                                                                   
03/08/01                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 112                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:ABORTION: INFORMED CONSENT; INFORMATION                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)COGHILL                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/05/01     0241       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/05/01     0241       (H)        HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                
02/05/01     0241       (H)        REFERRED TO HES                                                                              
03/08/01                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN JARDELL, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative Joe Green                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 403                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 43 on behalf of the                                                                        
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DANIELLE SERINO, Staff                                                                                                          
to Representative John Coghill                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 102                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 112.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
GERAN TARR                                                                                                                      
PO Box 1233                                                                                                                     
Girdwood, Alaska 99587                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DEATRICH SITCHLER                                                                                                               
520 Glacier Bay Circle                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska 99508                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
EILEEN BECKER, Director                                                                                                         
Homer Crisis Pregnancy Center                                                                                                   
PO Box 2                                                                                                                        
Homer Alaska. 99603                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 112.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JACKIE BLOOD                                                                                                                    
PO Box 1143                                                                                                                     
Delta Junction, Alaska 99737                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 112.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HUGH FLETCHER                                                                                                                   
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KAREN VOSBERGH, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Right to Life                                                                                                            
PO Box 1847                                                                                                                     
Palmer, Alaska 99645                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 112.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
AMY BOLLENBACH                                                                                                                  
PO Box 3429                                                                                                                     
Homer, Alaska 99603                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER RUDINGER, Executive Director                                                                                           
Alaska Civil Liberties Union                                                                                                    
PO Box 201844                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska 99520                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KAREN PEARSON, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110610                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 112.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PETER NAKAMURA, M.D.                                                                                                            
2346 Ka-See-An Drive                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 112.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
RENEE GAYHART                                                                                                                   
PO BOX 22237                                                                                                                    
Juneau Alaska 99811                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Through written  testimony  read by  Jenny                                                               
Persell (ph), testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
AMBER CEFFALIO                                                                                                                  
Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition                                                                                                     
PO Box 21872                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 112.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-24, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRED  DYSON called the  House Health, Education  and Social                                                               
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:02  p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Dyson,  Coghill,  Stevens, Kohring,  and  Cissna                                                               
were  present  at  the  call to  order.    Representative  Wilson                                                               
arrived as  the meeting was  in progress.   [The minutes  for the                                                               
Confirmation Hearing:  University of Alaska Board  of Regents are                                                               
found in  the 3:45 p.m. minutes  for the same date.   The minutes                                                               
for  the   Helping  Kids  Succeed/AK  Initiative   for  Community                                                               
Engagement overview  are found in  the 4:40 p.m. minutes  for the                                                               
same date.]                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 43-STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced that the  committee would hear testimony on                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  43, "An Act relating to  reimbursement of certain                                                               
student loans; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0238                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN JARDELL,  Staff to Representative  Joe Green,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, came  forth to  testify on  HB 43  on behalf  of the                                                               
sponsor.    He  stated  that Representative  Green  identified  a                                                               
problem with the number of  teachers in the state, specifically a                                                               
shortage  of  teachers  in  certain  geographical  areas  and  in                                                               
certain subject matter  areas.  He said  the goal of HB  43 is to                                                               
increase the number of students  studying in these subject matter                                                               
areas  where there  is  a shortage  and  encourage students  upon                                                               
graduation to begin their teaching  careers in the geographically                                                               
underserved areas.   He  remarked that  HB 43  accomplishes these                                                               
two  goals by  implementing a  targeted loan  forgiveness program                                                               
that  builds  upon and  encourages  students  to meet  these  two                                                               
special needs.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0346                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL stated that in order  for teachers to be eligible for                                                               
the  loan  forgiveness  program they  must  meet  four  criteria.                                                               
First, they  must have received  a teaching  certificate, degree,                                                               
or endorsement from  an in-state college or  university.  Second,                                                               
they  must  be  employed  in a  public  elementary  or  secondary                                                               
school.   Third, they  must be  employed within  a geographically                                                               
underserved area or in a subject  matter area that has a shortage                                                               
of teachers.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked whether  somebody would be  required to  get a                                                               
certificate through an Alaskan university if  he or she went to a                                                               
school outside of Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  answered that [he or  she would].  He  said that the                                                               
district,  not the  university,  issues the  endorsement for  the                                                               
certificate.   If a student  obtained the credit  hours necessary                                                               
for that endorsement  in-state, then he or she  would qualify for                                                               
the program.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0450                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  if, currently, a credentialed  person from out                                                               
of state  has to take  additional courses  in Alaska in  order to                                                               
get an Alaska teaching certificate.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL replied  that he  understands that  the person  does                                                               
[have  to take  additional  courses in  Alaska].   He  continued,                                                               
stating that the fourth requirement is  that the person has to be                                                               
in compliance with loan requirements  under AS 14.43.120, meaning                                                               
he or she cannot be in default on  his or her loan.  He clarified                                                               
that [these  four requirements]  are for  individual eligibility,                                                               
and that  there are additional  requirements for the  loan itself                                                               
to be forgiven.  He stated  that, after looking at the history of                                                               
loan forgiveness programs, Representative  Green is allowing only                                                               
loans  taken  after  60  credit  hours to  be  eligible  for  the                                                               
forgiveness programs.   Mr. Jardell  said the reason for  this is                                                               
because, in the past, there have  been high default rates for the                                                               
forgiveness  program.   The  thought was  that  people enter  the                                                               
first two years [of school] with  the belief that they will never                                                               
have to  repay their loan;  they never complete a  degree program                                                               
and end up having  to pay a debt that they  never intended to pay                                                               
back.    He   remarked  that  the  graduation   success  rate  is                                                               
dramatically improved by requiring  [loan forgiveness] only after                                                               
the first 60 credit hours.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked who  decides  what  areas are  geographically                                                               
underserved,  and  which  [subject  areas] qualify  as  having  a                                                               
shortage of teachers.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL answered  that the  legislation  [provides for]  the                                                               
Postsecondary  Education Commission  to make  that decision.   He                                                               
stated that it  was believed that giving  the commission latitude                                                               
in trying to  ascertain what areas have a  shortage would provide                                                               
the best opportunity for the program to work.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON asked  if [the  Postsecondary Education  Commission]                                                               
has agreed to have that role.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL   responded  that  it   is  his   understanding,  in                                                               
discussing  the bill  with  them, that  they  believe they  could                                                               
handle the obligation through implementing regulations.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON asked  if [the  Postsecondary Education  Commission]                                                               
had asked for a budget increment to take on that responsibility.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL answered  that they asked the  legislation to clarify                                                               
how this  would be funded.   He stated that  it is a  GF (general                                                               
fund) funding mechanism, and if  there is no appropriation, there                                                               
will not be a program.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0695                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   DYSON  asked   if  the   [present]  fiscal   note  covers                                                               
administration and the cost of forgiving loans.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  replied that  he didn't  know, but  that it  was his                                                               
understanding that  it does [include  all costs].   He continued,                                                               
stating that all  loans taken after the [first]  60 credit hours,                                                               
if  the student  meets the  individual eligibility  requirements,                                                               
can be forgiven up to 100 percent over a five-year payout.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0779                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA remarked  that there  are many  incentives                                                               
[with  this program],  which are  needed  in order  to make  sure                                                               
people  go to  Alaskan  institutions  and stay  in  Alaska.   She                                                               
stated that she  thinks it is necessary,  in the [geographically]                                                               
underserved areas,  for people to  stay and teach  there, because                                                               
the  chances  of  their  staying are  much  greater  than  having                                                               
someone come  from Southeast and go  up to Barrow.   She asked if                                                               
there was  any thought of  making an extra incentive  for someone                                                               
to go home [to the geographically underserved areas] to teach.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL answered  that it was discussed, but  it is difficult                                                               
to come  up with  incentives and utilize  the resources  that are                                                               
best  available.   He stated  that Representative  Green believes                                                               
that  encouraging  the   in-state  participation  would  persuade                                                               
people  to stay  longer than  five years.   He  pointed out  that                                                               
there is a program available to  rural students who want to teach                                                               
through which their loans are forgiven 100 percent.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0900                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  asked  how  [the  loan  forgiveness]  is                                                               
prorated  if someone  has accumulated  55 credits  and is  in the                                                               
middle of  a semester  in which  he or she  is taking  another 15                                                               
[credits].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  responded that the  intention of the  legislation is                                                               
that [the loan  forgiveness] would be prorated.  If  a person has                                                               
55 credit hours and takes a  loan out for an additional 15 credit                                                               
hours,  the commission  and the  Alaska student  Loan Corporation                                                               
would run  the program  in a  manner allowing  a portion  of that                                                               
loan, on a prorated basis, to be forgiven.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON stated that in  hearing testimony on a previous bill,                                                               
the  committee realized  that the  term  "schoolteacher" may  not                                                               
include certificated librarians and counselors.   He asked if [HB                                                               
43] intends  for all the  certificated personnel in  the facility                                                               
be included.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  answered that  it is his  understanding that  in any                                                               
area  where  a  person  would  receive  a  teaching  certificate,                                                               
whether it be  a librarian or counselor, and there  is a shortage                                                               
he or she would be eligible for the forgiveness program.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1028                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There was  a motion  to adopt CSHB  43(EDU), 22-LS0225\S,  as the                                                               
working document, but it was already before the committee.]                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked  Mr.  Jardell  if  he  would  object  if  the                                                               
committee  offered an  amendment  [22-LS0225\S.1, Ford,  3/8.01],                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 25:                                                                                                 
            Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                    
                "(f)  In this section, "teacher"                                                                                
           includes a  librarian, counselor, or other                                                                           
            person who possesses a  valid teacher                                                                               
            certificate issued under AS 14.20.020."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL replied  that he has seen the  amendment and believes                                                               
that  it would  be  consistent with  what [Representative  Green]                                                               
hopes to accomplish with the legislation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1088                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING  made a  motion to  adopt the  forgoing as                                                               
Amendment 1.  There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1115                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked Diane  Barrans whether [Amendment 1]                                                               
will have any impact on the fiscal note.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DIANE  BARRANS,   Executive  Director,   Postsecondary  Education                                                               
Commission, Department  of Education and Early  Development, came                                                               
forth  and answered  that it  may have  an impact  on the  fiscal                                                               
note.    She  stated  that  it  is  her  understanding  that  the                                                               
assumptions  used  to  develop  the   cost  in  the  fiscal  note                                                               
accompanying  this  version of  the  bill  relied just  on  those                                                               
classroom employees.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON remarked  that it  might [affect  the fiscal  note],                                                               
depending  on  whether  there  is a  shortage  of  counselors  or                                                               
librarians somewhere, but it is not known for sure.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARRANS answered that he was correct.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  asked if  principals would  be a  part of                                                               
this as well.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON answered,  from his reading [of the  bill], that they                                                               
would if there were a shortage of them.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1220                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARRANS stated  that, specific to the fiscal  note, there are                                                               
no  administrative   costs  incorporated.     The  [Postsecondary                                                               
Education  Commission] administers  a number  of small  programs,                                                               
which  she  believes  to  not  have  a  significant  direct  cost                                                               
associated with  them.   She said it  would be  her determination                                                               
that this  would fall under  that category.   She added  that she                                                               
believes  the  [Postsecondary  Education Commission]  is  working                                                               
with  the commissioner  of Education  and  [Department of]  Early                                                               
Development  and could  come  up with  criteria  for shortage  by                                                               
regulation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  asked  if [the  Postsecondary  Education                                                               
Commission] is prepared to prorate [the loan].                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARRANS replied  that the intent of the sponsor  is not clear                                                               
in  the bill.   She  understands  that the  individual would  not                                                               
receive a  benefit for  the term  prior to  passing over  the 60-                                                               
credit  threshold.   She explained  that trying  to prorate  that                                                               
sort  of  benefit  for  the  loan for  a  single  term  would  be                                                               
administratively  cumbersome  for  the  [Postsecondary  Education                                                               
Commission's]  and  for  the institution  that's  certifying  the                                                               
level  of  credits.   She  stated  that  she believes  the  basic                                                               
structure  of the  bill  is built  around  the typical  15-credit                                                               
full-time course  load, and doesn't  think that there would  be a                                                               
great number of students that this would pertain to.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1328                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  remarked that he understands  it would be                                                               
the first semester after the completion of 60 credits.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  Mr. Jardell if he wanted to  try to solve this                                                               
problem or let it stand as it is.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL responded that when  [the bill] was written, the idea                                                               
was to  come up with a  methodology that didn't produce  the high                                                               
default rates  that forgiveness  programs have  had in  the past.                                                               
He stated that 60 credit  hours was what Representative Green had                                                               
chosen, and  looking at it  again it  does seem to  indicate that                                                               
someone would have  to have completed the 60  hours before taking                                                               
out the loan.  He stated that  he believes leaving the bill as it                                                               
stands   would   accomplish   the  overall   goal   without   the                                                               
administrative problems that seem to be indicated.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING asked why  the legislation only applies to                                                               
public schools.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL  replied  that  because  of  the  limited  resources                                                               
available,  Representative  Green hoped  to  restrict  it to  the                                                               
public  education  system,  where  there seems  to  be  the  most                                                               
problems with shortages.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1413                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON called  for an at-ease at 3:26 p.m.   The meeting was                                                               
called back to order at 3:27 p.m.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked Ms. Barrans  whether there would be problems if                                                               
there was  an amendment that took  out the word "public"  on page                                                               
1, line 9.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1437                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARRANS  replied that private  school teachers are a  sort of                                                               
unknown quantity, and  she is unsure of where to  look to see how                                                               
many there are in order to estimate a fiscal impact.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked [if she  is also unsure  of where to  look] to                                                               
certify that there is a shortage.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARRANS answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1475                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING  made  a  motion to  adopt  a  conceptual                                                               
amendment striking the  word "public" anywhere it is  used in the                                                               
bill.  There being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS remarked that the  point of [HB 43] was to                                                               
target both  geographically underserved areas and  subject areas.                                                               
On  [page   1],  line  10,   it  says,  "is  employed   within  a                                                               
geographically underserved  area of the  state or is  employed in                                                               
the state  to teach a  subject for which  there is a  shortage of                                                               
teachers".   He  stated  that it  has been  amended  so the  word                                                               
teacher  includes librarians,  counselors, or  other persons  who                                                               
possess a  valid teaching certificate,  and he  understands there                                                               
could  be shortage  [of these  professions]  geographically.   He                                                               
asked  if this  would affect  the subject  areas where  there are                                                               
teacher  shortages, because  it  doesn't seem  as if  librarians,                                                               
counselors, and other persons fit in to this [category].                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1589                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  called for an  at-ease at 3:31  p.m.  He  called the                                                               
meeting back to order at 3:38 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1591                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  offered a conceptual  amendment on page 1,  line 11,                                                               
after  "teachers", to  add:   "or works  in another  professional                                                               
capacity for which a shortage  has been identified".  There being                                                               
no objection, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  moved to  report CSHB 43(EDU)  as amended                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection,  CSHB                                                               
43(HES) was  moved from  the House  Health, Education  and Social                                                               
Services Standing Committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1636                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  called for an at-ease  at 3:40 in order  to hold the                                                               
joint  meeting with  the House  Special  Committee on  Education.                                                               
[The minutes  for the confirmation Hearing:  University of Alaska                                                               
Board of Regents are found in  the 3:45 p.m. minutes for the same                                                               
date.]                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  called  the  House  Health,  Education  and  Social                                                               
Services Standing Committee back to order at 3:57 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 112-ABORTION: INFORMED CONSENT; INFORMATION                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1638                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced that the  committee would hear testimony on                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 112, "An  Act relating to information and services                                                               
available  to  pregnant women  and  other  persons; and  ensuring                                                               
informed consent before  an abortion may be  performed, except in                                                               
cases of medical emergency."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  remarked that  this is  one of  the hotly                                                               
debated  items in  [Alaskan] society  right now,  surrounding the                                                               
abortion issue.   He stated that this particular  [bill] does not                                                               
circle around the  debate as far as whether abortion  is or isn't                                                               
[accepted],  but  is to  get  the  best possible  information  to                                                               
somebody who is considering [having an abortion].  He stated:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     It  is  a  decision.     Certainly,  there's  a  choice                                                                    
     involved.   Our  society has  agreed that  there is;  I                                                                    
     disagree  with that  as a  matter of  policy.   But the                                                                    
     fact is  we're there.   So I introduced this  bill just                                                                    
     to say, "Let's go ahead  and get some information about                                                                    
     social services, about what  the gestational period is,                                                                    
     get  some  graphic material  ...  so  that people  have                                                                    
     information to read."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1730                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DANIELLE SERINO, Staff to Representative John Coghill, Alaska                                                                   
State Legislature, came forth to testify on HB 112.  She stated:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
      HB 112 focuses on Alaska's current informed-consent-                                                                      
     before-abortion  provision.    Since 1970,  Alaska  has                                                                    
     recognized  that abortion  is unique  in comparison  to                                                                    
     other types of medical  surgeries and thus necessitated                                                                    
     a   separate  informed-consent   standard.     Alaska's                                                                    
     current  provision substantially  lacks in  content and                                                                    
     also has not been updated since 1973.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     HB  112  seeks  to  elaborate  on  this  provision  and                                                                    
     elevate it  to statute.  It  is not the intent  of this                                                                    
     bill,  in  any form,  to  hamper  or hinder  access  to                                                                    
     abortions  in   this  state,   or  to   insinuate  that                                                                    
     physicians    are   currently    providing   inadequate                                                                    
     information  to their  patients.   Currently in  Alaska                                                                    
     statutes the  only requirements  before an  abortion is                                                                    
     performed  are that  the physician  be licensed  by the                                                                    
     state, that the facility be  approved by the state, and                                                                    
     that  the patient  have been  present for  at least  30                                                                    
     days in the state before the procedure is performed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     HB 112  would insert  into these statutes  an informed-                                                                    
     consent  provision, along  with  a  higher standard  of                                                                    
     physician  liability,  and  also  ask  that  the  state                                                                    
     develop   an   informational  pamphlet   designed   for                                                                    
     pregnant women  that lists both abortion  and pregnancy                                                                    
     resources and  options that are  available to  women in                                                                    
     making their choice.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     To date,  31 states,  including Alaska, have  some type                                                                    
     of  law   addressing  informed-consent   standards  for                                                                    
     abortion.    Alaska's law  is  unique  or different  in                                                                    
     [the]   fact  that   our  provision   exists  only   in                                                                    
     administrative  regulation and  not  statute.   HB  112                                                                    
     seeks  to  set  a  guideline  in  Alaska  statutes  for                                                                    
     abortion  informed consent  that is  open to  physician                                                                    
     flexibility  in   tailoring  the  information   to  the                                                                    
     individual needs of the patient.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1811                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SERINO summarized:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The intent  of this  bill is to  ensure that  women are                                                                    
     backed  by Alaska  law  in that  they  have the  direct                                                                    
     access they  need to the best  information possible for                                                                    
     their  situation  without  putting a  hamper  on  their                                                                    
     access to the procedure  itself and in protecting their                                                                    
     individual   right   to   privacy   and   circumstances                                                                    
     surrounding that choice.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1919                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GERAN TARR came forth to testify in opposition of HB 112.  She                                                                  
stated:                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I believe the role of  a legislature is to work towards                                                                    
     enactment of public policy that  meets the needs of the                                                                    
     people of the  state.  House Bill 112 does  not do this                                                                    
     and, in fact, makes  a necessary medical procedure more                                                                    
     difficult for  individuals [who], by law,  have a right                                                                    
     to  it.   Unplanned pregnancy  is not  just an  Alaskan                                                                    
     problem, but  a national  problem that has  drastic and                                                                    
     often negative consequences.   As a young  woman in the                                                                    
     prime of my reproductive  years, my reproductive health                                                                    
     is  of primary  concern.   I am  offended by  this bill                                                                    
     that  implies  I do  not  take  this seriously,  as  it                                                                    
     implies that  if pregnant, I  would not  fully research                                                                    
     all of my options before  making a decision.  Whether I                                                                    
     would decide to  have an abortion or to have  a baby, I                                                                    
     fully  understand  the   lifelong  implications  of  my                                                                    
     decision, as do all women, I believe.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I  wonder if  the sponsor  of this  bill has  spent the                                                                    
     many,  many  hours  discussing the  scary  prospect  of                                                                    
     becoming pregnant  at a young  age when you are  in the                                                                    
     beginnings of planning your future.   I doubt it.  This                                                                    
     is  very much  a woman's  problem, and  we all  know no                                                                    
     contraception  is 100  percent  effective.   I  watched                                                                    
     last year, terrified, as a  similar bill passed through                                                                    
     this same  committee.   Passage of  this bill  will not                                                                    
     stop abortion.  It has always  been a part of our human                                                                    
     culture.    One  should  read   Eve's  Herbs  by  noted                                                                  
     historian John Riddle for more information.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     When I return  to Anchorage, I will become a  part of a                                                                    
     training  program to  become an  advocate for  children                                                                    
     who  are in  the custody  of the  state.   This program                                                                    
     exists because these are children,  1200 of them in the                                                                    
     Anchorage   area  alone,   that  have   no  one   else.                                                                    
     Currently, this  program can only  meet the needs  of a                                                                    
     third of  these children.   This saddens  me.   I don't                                                                    
     believe these  children have the emotional  capacity to                                                                    
     understand  why  no  one  wants  them.    I  have  also                                                                    
     volunteered in  domestic violence shelters  for several                                                                    
     years.   Again,  in this  setting, the  severe problems                                                                    
     that often  follow unplanned pregnancies  and unplanned                                                                    
     families are underscored.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1996                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. TARR stated, in conclusion:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ... From  looking at  the fiscal note,  I can  see that                                                                    
     the new  requirements have significant  cost associated                                                                    
     with  them, and  I would  ask that  if these  funds are                                                                    
     available from  the general fund, they  be used instead                                                                    
     to   prevent  pregnancy   through   education  and   by                                                                    
     providing contraception  to those  who want it  but may                                                                    
     be financially burdened and unable to obtain it.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2041                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEATRICH SITCHLER testified via teleconference in opposition to                                                                 
HB 112.  She shared:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     At the  age of  14 I was  diagnosed with  hemophilia, a                                                                    
     disease  affecting the  blood.   As  a  result of  this                                                                    
     condition, it has become medically  dangerous for me to                                                                    
     carry a  pregnancy to term.   The loss of  blood during                                                                    
     the deliver would be potentially fatal  to me.  I am in                                                                    
     a long-term committed relationship,  and my partner and                                                                    
     I are very  careful, but as everyone knows,  no form of                                                                    
     birth  control  is  100  percent  effective.    Were  I                                                                    
     accidentally  to become  pregnant,  it would  be in  my                                                                    
     best  medical  interest   to  terminate  the  pregnancy                                                                    
     rather than  carry the pregnancy  to term.   I strongly                                                                    
     feel that this is a  decision between me and my partner                                                                    
     and  the  advice  and  consult   of  my  doctor.    The                                                                    
     government has  no place  in personal,  painful choices                                                                    
     that I  would have  to make.   Furthermore,  my partner                                                                    
     and I would  find if very painful to have  to listen to                                                                    
     a  litany  of  alternatives to  abortion,  alternatives                                                                    
     that  are not  actually in  my best  interest and  that                                                                    
     could  actually  threaten my  life  before  I would  be                                                                    
     deemed capable of consenting to this abortion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     My  biggest  objection  is to  the  definition  of  the                                                                    
     medical emergency.  I would  not fall under the medical                                                                    
     necessity  exception  to  HB   112  because  having  an                                                                    
     abortion at  that very moment  would probably not  be a                                                                    
     life-saving   measure   or  an   emergency   situation.                                                                    
     Therefore, I would be subject  to this extra counseling                                                                    
     which  would  be  wholly irrelevant  to  my  individual                                                                    
     circumstances. ...  This termination of  this pregnancy                                                                    
     would be to  save my own life.  Why  should these extra                                                                    
     hurdles be placed before me  that are not placed before                                                                    
     any other patient seeking  any other medical treatment.                                                                    
     I feel that  this is a doctor-patient issue  and that I                                                                    
     should  be able  to  determine, along  with my  doctor,                                                                    
     what is in my best interest.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2122                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
EILEEN   BECKER,  Director,   Homer   Crisis  Pregnancy   Center,                                                               
testified  via teleconference  in favor  of HB  112.   She stated                                                               
that she has had quite a  bit of counseling experience with women                                                               
who have  been "post-aborted".   She said  she knows for  a fact,                                                               
firsthand, that had  these women had the  information included in                                                               
this  bill, they  probably would  have made  a different  choice.                                                               
She remarked that perhaps the  choices they would have made would                                                               
have been a  lot better.  She  stated that she thinks  it is time                                                               
for the  State of  Alaska to  do something that  is good  for the                                                               
women  of Alaska,  good  for  their future,  and  good for  their                                                               
decisions that they are going to make.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2171                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JACKIE BLOOD  testified via  teleconference in  favor or  HB 112.                                                               
She stated that as a woman,  she feels it is essential to provide                                                               
pregnant   women  with   scientific  and   objective  information                                                               
concerning the development of their babies.   She said it is also                                                               
very  important  to provide  clear  and  unbiased information  to                                                               
women  about  the abortion  procedure  and  what an  abortion  is                                                               
actually doing to their babies and  their own bodies.  She stated                                                               
that this  is not like  any other medical procedure  because this                                                               
involves  the   welfare  of  another   life.    She   added  that                                                               
information  concerning adoption  services should  be encouraged.                                                               
She concluded that this type  of information is basic, necessary,                                                               
and really  should not  cause any woman  or health  care provider                                                               
undue duress.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2255                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HUGH FLEISCHER  testified via teleconference in  opposition to HB                                                               
112.  He stated:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Rather  than  expend  the government's  money  and  the                                                                    
     attorneys' time  and energy, it  would be best  just to                                                                    
     simply  stipulate   that  the  matter  is   subject  to                                                                    
     injunction if you  wish to pass it,  because it doesn't                                                                    
     make any sense.  It's  a ridiculous bill' and it should                                                                    
     be thrown out.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2305                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  VOSBERGH,  Executive  Director,   Alaska  Right  to  Life,                                                               
testified via  teleconference in support  of HB 112.   She stated                                                               
that anytime  there is information  that would help women  make a                                                               
fully informed decision,  it should go forth.   She remarked that                                                               
when  women  are considering  an  abortion,  very little  factual                                                               
information is given,  and what is given is often  false, such as                                                               
calling [the  fetus] pregnancy  "tissue", "a  bunch of  cells" or                                                               
only a  "blob."  She noted  that these are descriptions  that are                                                               
given at  the stage  of development when  the baby  already feels                                                               
pain, sucks its thumb, and has a heartbeat.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOSBERGH stated that unfortunately,  the abortion industry or                                                               
the  general   press  is  not   doing  anything  to   warn  women                                                               
considering  abortion about  its high  rate of  risks.   She said                                                               
that  several  states  have, however,  implemented  right-to-know                                                               
laws, and  she thinks Alaska  should follow suit.   She mentioned                                                               
that there  are over 100 potential  complications associated with                                                               
abortion,  and noted  that Great  Britain revealed  a 27  percent                                                               
infection rate among  women who had aborted, of  whom 9.5 percent                                                               
hemorrhaged enough  to require a  blood transfusion.   She stated                                                               
that long-term  complications usually  result from damage  to the                                                               
reproductive system, causing chronic  infection, the inability to                                                               
carry a subsequent pregnancy to term, or even sterility.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-24, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2350                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOSBERGH  remarked that according  to one Japanese  study, 14                                                               
percent  of women  undergoing  abortion  suffered from  recurring                                                               
miscarriages  and there  was a  400 percent  increase in  ectopic                                                               
pregnancies.    She stated  that  Swedish  and Norwegian  studies                                                               
indicate  a   total  of  about  5   percent  sterility  following                                                               
abortions.   She  stated that  if  1.3 million  women are  having                                                               
abortions  in this  nation and  5 percent  are rendered  sterile,                                                               
that's  over 50,000  women.   She stressed  that [women]  need to                                                               
know what  could happen to  them if they  have an abortion.   She                                                               
mentioned that there  was a study by  California researchers that                                                               
found the risk  of breast cancer doubled among  women who aborted                                                               
their first pregnancy.  Another  study done by Janet Daling, M.D.                                                               
of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer  Research Center in Seattle, showed                                                               
a 50-90 percent increase in breast  cancer risk for women who had                                                               
their abortions before the age of 18.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOSBERGH continued, stating that  researchers at the New York                                                               
State Department of  Health used computer records  to track every                                                               
case of breast  cancer [in women] under the age  of 40 outside of                                                               
New  York City.   Short-term  pregnancies before  the first  live                                                               
birth correlated with a 90  percent higher risk of breast cancer.                                                               
She added that right now  there are studies underway to determine                                                               
if there  is a link  between abortion  and the high  instances of                                                               
cervical cancer  among women who  have aborted.  She  stated that                                                               
according  to  a paper  to  be  published  shortly by  the  Royal                                                               
Statistical  Society, the  number  of cases  of malignant  breast                                                               
cancer diagnosed each year will,  by 2030, have risen from 30,000                                                               
to  more than  50,000.   She added  that Patrick  Carol (ph),  an                                                               
actuary who wrote  the report, said there is a  lot of cancer "in                                                               
the pipeline."   The breast cancer-abortion  association shows at                                                               
least a  50 percent increase, and  up to a 150  percent increase,                                                               
depending on the [woman's] age at the time of the abortion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.VOSBERGH continued, stating according  to one study, women who                                                               
have had abortions are nine  times more likely to attempt suicide                                                               
than  are women  who have  not had  abortions.   When a  woman is                                                               
considering    this   "life-changing"    decision,   she    needs                                                               
information.  She stated:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I  do  not  understand  why  the  "pro-aborts"  are  so                                                                    
     against having women know everything  there is to know.                                                                    
     ...  They  need to  know  what  that baby's  like  that                                                                    
     they're  carrying inside;  they need  to see  what that                                                                    
     baby is.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2731                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AMY BOLLENBACH  testified via teleconference in  opposition to HB                                                               
112.   She stated that she  appreciates that HB 112  was improved                                                               
from the  last year's  version in  objectivity and  legality, but                                                               
she is still  opposed to the bill because the  purpose appears to                                                               
slow down and reduce the opportunity  to obtain an abortion.  She                                                               
remarked  that  she  personally  would have  no  objection  to  a                                                               
pamphlet prepared by  the Department of Health  & Social Services                                                               
that would give information, if it were truly objective.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLENBACH remarked that the worst  part of HB 112 is Section                                                               
4,  lines 20-28,  describing medical  emergencies.   She remarked                                                               
that "medical emergency" is defined in  such a narrow way that it                                                               
would  frighten  doctors  away from  performing  abortions  under                                                               
medical emergencies and would endanger  women's lives.  She added                                                               
that  she  has had  experience  teaching  at Anchorage  Community                                                               
College in  women's studies and  other areas; she  counseled many                                                               
young women there, and she is  aware that some women who have had                                                               
abortions  are  psychologically  upset,   some  who  didn't  have                                                               
abortions are  psychologically upset, and some  are very relieved                                                               
after they  have had  abortions.   She stressed  that it  is very                                                               
hard to get objectivity in this field.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2131                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  RUDINGER, Executive  Director,  Alaska Civil  Liberties                                                               
Union,  testified via  teleconference  in opposition  to HB  112.                                                               
She stated that she agrees  with Amy Bollenbach that this version                                                               
is better than the version  that was "floating" around last year;                                                               
however, it still poses hurdles  and obstacles that are placed in                                                               
the paths of  women seeking abortions that are not  placed in the                                                               
paths  of women  who  want  prenatal care  or  any other  medical                                                               
treatment.   She stated  that there are  several points  where HB                                                               
112 is  either overbroad or false.   First of all,  she said, the                                                               
mandatory extra counseling, referred to  in the bill, goes beyond                                                               
what doctors might consider to be  relevant to that patient.  She                                                               
expressed  that this  is a  relationship between  a doctor  and a                                                               
patient,  and there  is  nobody  better able  to  decide what  is                                                               
relevant  to  the  patient's circumstance  than  someone  who  is                                                               
trained  in medical  sciences.   She  added  that the  government                                                               
should not superimpose its judgment.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.   RUDINGER  stated   that  the   bill   refers  to   possible                                                               
psychological effects  that have  been associated with  having an                                                               
abortion, but there  is no medical evidence  that abortion causes                                                               
psychological   injury.     She   stated   that  requiring   this                                                               
information is  wrong, false, misleading,  and certainly,  at the                                                               
very least, subject to debate.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUDINGER, referring to the  pamphlet, said that every patient                                                               
is different  and what's  in the pamphlet  might not  actually be                                                               
what's happening  to that woman.   It's up to the  doctor to talk                                                               
to [the woman] about what's  happening, her choices, and what she                                                               
wants to do.  She  summarized that requiring that physicians give                                                               
these lectures to  a woman - as opposed to  having a nurse, nurse                                                               
practitioner,  or  physician's  assistant   do  it  -  makes  the                                                               
delivery of this health care more expensive and more difficult.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1974                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAREN PEARSON,  Director, Division  of Public  Health, Department                                                               
of Health  & Social Services,  came forth  to testify on  HB 112.                                                               
She stated:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The Division  of Public Health  supports what  seems to                                                                    
     be the  intent of  HB 112, which  is ensuring  that all                                                                    
     women seeking  an abortion are fully  informed prior to                                                                    
     signing consent  for the procedure  to be done.   Since                                                                    
     this  is  currently  required  prior  to  any  surgical                                                                    
     procedure being performed,  and is considered essential                                                                    
     by  the medical  provider  community,  we question  the                                                                    
     need for a  law specific to the abortion  procedure.  I                                                                    
     believe we are in agreement  that each woman seeking an                                                                    
     abortion   needs   information  about   the   physical,                                                                    
     emotional,   psychological,  and   medical  risks   and                                                                    
     benefits of both pregnancy and abortion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. PEARSON  remarked that  this bill seeks  to address  the need                                                               
from the  abortion perspective  by requiring  that each  woman be                                                               
provided  a  detailed  and lengthy  informational  document,  and                                                               
requiring that the physician sign  a form indicating that she has                                                               
read the document, understands it,  and understands its relevance                                                               
to her.  She continued:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Some women  would find  such material  informative, but                                                                    
     many  women  are  low  literacy,  illiterate,  or  have                                                                    
     English as a  second language; they will  not be served                                                                    
     well  by  this  process.   Many  individuals  who  have                                                                    
     reading problems  are very skilled at  hiding them from                                                                    
     those of  us that  have better skills;  thus it  can be                                                                    
     very difficult  for a physician to  ascertain, with any                                                                    
     degree  of  certainty,  that  a   woman  who  has  been                                                                    
     provided the written materials really  was able to read                                                                    
     and comprehend  the information that's so  important to                                                                    
     her.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1904                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PEARSON continued, stating:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Providers  are  accustomed  to  explaining  procedures,                                                                    
     risks,  and benefits  relative  to medication  options,                                                                    
     treatment options of  all kinds, and are  being able to                                                                    
     follow  up on  questions  and concerns  as they  arise.                                                                    
     They  are used  to tailoring  the information  given to                                                                    
     meet the specific  needs of the patient  being seen and                                                                    
     there  are  many  individual  health  issues  that  [a]                                                                    
     physician  must address  with each  patient, no  matter                                                                    
     the procedure  to be  performed.   These needs  are not                                                                    
     well  served when  large  volumes  of written  material                                                                    
     that  may or  may not  be relevant  to that  particular                                                                    
     individual are  required first in  order to  verify the                                                                    
     person  is informed.   The  language, the  culture, the                                                                    
     age, and  numerous other relevant factors,  specific to                                                                    
     each woman, must be considered  when we're deciding how                                                                    
     to  provide information  in the  most  usable form  and                                                                    
     manner.    And  only  the  provider  and  the  patient,                                                                    
     together,  can   figure  out  what   communication  and                                                                    
     information  needs  to  take  place  so  that  a  truly                                                                    
     informed decision can be made.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. PEARSON stated, in conclusion:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The substantial  costs reflected in the  fiscal note to                                                                    
     compiling the information are  significant, and I would                                                                    
     offer the  resources of the  division to work  with you                                                                    
     to provide information for informed  consent, but it is                                                                    
     not our belief  that this is the best use  of the funds                                                                    
     to produce information.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1805                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PETER  NAKAMURA, M.D.,  came  forth to  testify on  HB  112.   He                                                               
stated that  his comments are  based on  40 years of  practice in                                                               
health, both  as a physician  and as a public  health specialist.                                                               
He remarked  that there are  a certain number of  principles used                                                               
when making decisions,  such as honesty or the  cost of services.                                                               
He  remarked that  he  would like  to  address two  [principles]:                                                               
prevention and  the influence of  individual beliefs  - including                                                               
cultures and religions  - as they impact on the  issue of health.                                                               
He  stated that  it is  not beneficial  to interfere  with issues                                                               
that  would  prevent  the negative  consequences  that  do,  very                                                               
often, come with unintended pregnancies.   He stressed that it is                                                               
necessary  to  not  present  barriers  that get  in  the  way  of                                                               
unintended  pregnancies.    The  alternative  is  to  wait  until                                                               
[unintended pregnancies]  happen and  end in treatment,  which is                                                               
not as effective as prevention.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA mentioned  that he read an article that  said the UN                                                               
(United Nations) is going to take  on a special charge to address                                                               
the first  marriage of  children in some  countries, many  in the                                                               
Middle East.  Many of these  cultures allow kids to be married at                                                               
the age  of 12.   He stated that the  issue, then, is  whether to                                                               
respect that  culture and allow  that practice to continue  or to                                                               
look at  the negative outcomes  and say, "Hey, [we'd]  better try                                                               
to stop that."   This is an  issue the UN has decided  to step in                                                               
on and  say it  is more  important to  address the  health issues                                                               
than  the special  cultural issues.   He  concluded by  stressing                                                               
that it is important to address  the issues of prevention as well                                                               
as the potential negative impact  of special cultural or personal                                                               
beliefs.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1580                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RENEE  GAYHART  testified through  a  written  statement read  by                                                               
Jenny Persell (ph).  Ms. Persell stated:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill   112  would   require  that   health  care                                                                    
     professionals  give   information  to  women   who  are                                                                    
     seeking  an abortion  in an  attempt to  prey on  their                                                                    
     emotions and  frighten them so  that they won't  get an                                                                    
     abortion.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This bill  would require a health  care professional to                                                                    
     show a  woman pictures of  fetuses and to  describe the                                                                    
     anatomical  and  physiological   characteristics  of  a                                                                    
     fetus.   This is a  tactic well known  to anti-abortion                                                                    
     extremists  who ignore  issues of  fetal viability  and                                                                    
     try  to  play on  the  emotions  of pregnant  women  by                                                                    
     confronting  them with  pictures.    The bill  requires                                                                    
     that women be told  about adverse psychological effects                                                                    
     of  having  an abortion,  yet  what  about the  adverse                                                                    
     psychological  effects of  sitting through  this biased                                                                    
     counseling  for a  woman who  has  been raped  or is  a                                                                    
     victim  of incest?   Incidentally,  there are  studies,                                                                    
     one done  by the World Health  Organization, that could                                                                    
     find   no  medical   evidence   that  abortion   causes                                                                    
     psychological injury.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Leave the details of informed  consent up to the people                                                                    
     that  understand  the  health risks  of  pregnancy  and                                                                    
     abortion.   Abortion  is being  singled  out for  these                                                                    
     counseling  requirements because  the sponsors  want to                                                                    
     outlaw abortion.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The  harm from  the restrictions  the sponsors  of this                                                                    
     bill wish  to impose  are felt most  by those  who have                                                                    
     the fewest resources:   low-income women, minors, rural                                                                    
     women, working  women without insurance or  sick leave,                                                                    
     and battered women.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Many  in this  legislature talk  a great  deal of  less                                                                    
     governmental intrusion,  and this would be  a good time                                                                    
     to practice  what you preach.   Leave these  matters up                                                                    
     to women and their doctors.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1553                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AMBER  CEFFALIO,  Juneau  Pro-Choice  Coalition,  came  forth  to                                                               
testify in opposition  to HB 112, which she  thinks would require                                                               
women  to   go  through  biased  counseling   before  getting  an                                                               
abortion.  She stated:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I certainly favor  health professionals giving patients                                                                    
     informed   consent   before   undertaking   a   medical                                                                    
     procedure.   To  my knowledge,  there is  no reason  to                                                                    
     think that  women seeking abortions  are not  given all                                                                    
     the information they need to make a reasoned decision.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Legislatures should  not be in the  business of telling                                                                    
     medical professionals  what is and is  not important to                                                                    
     advise a  patient.  Legislatures should  not single out                                                                    
     abortion   for  [the]   biased-counseling  requirement.                                                                    
     Legislatures  should be  more  concerned about  women's                                                                    
     health and  not trying to  coerce them into  carrying a                                                                    
     pregnancy to term by whatever possible means.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Mandatory   anti-choice  lectures   don't  give   women                                                                    
     unbiased,  meaningful  medical  information.    Rather,                                                                    
     they  are told  a  laundry list  of  possible and  rare                                                                    
     complications that may occur from having an abortion.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[HB 112 was held over.]                                                                                                         
Number 1488                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON called  for an at-ease at 4:38 p.m.  in order to hear                                                               
the Helping  Kids Succeed/AK Initiative for  Community Engagement                                                               
overview.     [The  minutes  for  the   Helping  Kids  Succeed/AK                                                               
Initiative  for Community  Engagement overview  are found  in the                                                               
4:40 p.m. coversheet for the same date.]                                                                                        

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