Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/07/1997 01:08 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                             
                           March 7, 1997                                       
                             1:08 p.m.                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Joe Green, Chairman                                            
 Representative Con Bunde, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Jeannette James                                                
 Representative Eric Croft                                                     
 Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 All members were present                                                      
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 119                                                            
 "An Act raising the limit on small claims actions to $10,000; and             
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSHB 119(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 37                                                             
 "An Act relating to a requirement that a parent, guardian, or                 
 custodian consent before certain minors receive an abortion;                  
 establishing a judicial bypass procedure by which a minor may                 
 petition a court for authorization to consent to an abortion                  
 without consent of a parent, guardian, or custodian; amending the             
 definition of `abortion'; and amending Rules 40 and 79, Alaska                
 Rules of Civil Procedure; Rules 204, 210, 212, 213, 508, and 512.5,           
 Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure; and Rule 9, Alaska                       
 Administrative Rules."                                                        
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSHB 37(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                             
 "An Act relating to partial-birth abortions."                                 
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 1(FIN) am                                              
 "An Act relating to living and working conditions of prisoners in             
 correctional facilities operated by the state, and authorizing the            
 commissioner of corrections to negotiate with providers of                    
 detention and confinement services under contract to apply those              
 conditions and limitations on services to persons held under                  
 authority of state law at facilities operated under contract or               
 agreement; relating to services provided to prisoners; amending the           
 definition of `severely medically disabled' applicable to prisoners           
 seeking special medical parole; amending provisions of the                    
 correctional industries program; and extending the termination date           
 of the Correctional Industries Commission and the program."                   
                                                                               
      - BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                 
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 53                                                           
 "An Act relating to the authority of the Department of Corrections            
 to contract for facilities for the confinement and care of                    
 prisoners, and annulling a regulation of the Department of                    
 Corrections that limits the purposes for which an agreement with a            
 private agency may be entered into; authorizing an agreement by               
 which the Department of Corrections may, for the benefit of the               
 state, enter into one lease of, or similar agreement to use, space            
 within a correctional facility that is operated by a private                  
 contractor, and setting conditions on the operation of the                    
 correctional facility affected by the lease or use agreement; and             
 giving notice of and approving a lease-purchase agreement or                  
 similar use-purchase agreement for the design, construction, and              
 operation of a correctional facility, and setting conditions and              
 limitations on the facility's design, construction, and operation."           
                                                                               
      - BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                 
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 119                                                                 
 SHORT TITLE: INCREASE SMALL CLAIMS JURISDICTION                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HODGINS,Green,Croft                             
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE          JRN-PG             ACTION                                   
 02/07/97       265    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/07/97       265    (H)   JUDICIARY                                         
 02/17/97              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/17/97              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 37                                                                  
 SHORT TITLE: PARENTAL CONSENT BEFORE MINOR'S ABORTION                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY, KOHRING, VEZEY, MULDER, Ogan,            
 Dyson, Martin, Green                                                          
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE          JRN-PG             ACTION                                   
 01/13/97        37    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97                           
 01/13/97        37    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/13/97        37    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 02/06/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/06/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/11/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/11/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/13/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/13/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/15/97              (H)   STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/15/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/19/97       394    (H)   STA RPT CS(STA) 4DP 2DNP                          
 02/19/97       395    (H)   DP: VEZEY, IVAN, DYSON, JAMES                     
 02/19/97       395    (H)   DNP:  BERKOWITZ, ELTON                            
 02/19/97       395    (H)   2 FNS (H.STA/COURT, H.STA/ADM)                    
 02/19/97       395    (H)   3 ZERO FNS (H.STA/ADM, H.STA/2-DHSS)              
 02/19/97       406    (H)   FIN REFERRAL ADDED                                
 03/05/97              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 65                                                                  
 SHORT TITLE: PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS                                          
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT, Kohring, Ogan                             
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 01/13/97        50    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/13/97        50    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 02/06/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/06/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/07/97       277    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING                             
 02/18/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/18/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/19/97       408    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): OGAN                                
 02/20/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/20/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/21/97       421    (H)   STA RPT  4DP 1DNP 1NR                             
 02/21/97       421    (H)   DP: JAMES, HODGINS, DYSON, VEZEY                  
 02/21/97       421    (H)   DNP: BERKOWITZ; NR: IVAN                          
 02/21/97       421    (H)   INDETERMINATE FISCAL NOTE (ADM)                   
 02/21/97       421    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS)                           
 03/05/97              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 03/05/97              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 03/07/97              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building Room 110                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2283                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor of HB 119                                  
                                                                               
 CHARLES "CHRIS" CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel                                  
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 820 West 4th Avenue                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 264-0547                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 119.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 204                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 65                                         
                                                                               
 GEORGE DOZIER, JR.                                                            
 Aide to Representative Pete Kott                                              
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 204                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 BACHAR BEN'ISRAEL                                                             
 Moose Creek, Alaska                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 488-8544                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 65                            
                                                                               
 AMY SKILBRED                                                                  
 Alaska Civil Liberties Union                                                  
 4477 Abby Way                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 780-4649                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of HB 65                         
                                                                               
 DR. PETER NAKAMURA, Director                                                  
 Division of Public Health                                                     
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 P.O. Box 110610                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0610                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3090                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 DEBRA JOSLIN, Chair                                                           
 District 35, Republican Party of Alaska                                       
 P.O. Box 377                                                                  
 Delta Junction, Alaska  99737                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 895-4565                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 BARBARA RAWALT, Financial Chair                                               
 District 35, Republican Party of Alaska                                       
 P.O. Box 823                                                                  
 Delta Junction, Alaska  99737                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 895-1946                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 SHARYLEE ZACHARY                                                              
 P.O. Box 1531                                                                 
 Petersburg, Alaska  99833                                                     
 Telephone:  (907)  772-3681                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 KATHLEEN HOFFMAN                                                              
 HC 1, Box 131E                                                                
 Soldotna, Alaska  99669                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 262-4522                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 65                            
                                                                               
 VIRGINIA PHILLIPS, Spokesperson                                               
 American Indians and Alaska Natives                                           
 National Right to Life                                                        
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907)  747-8024                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 TERESA LUNDY, Medical Transcriptionist                                        
 P.O. Box 2975                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 966-2204                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 SALLY APOXIDAK                                                                
 HC33 Box 3188                                                                 
 Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 373-7845                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 65                            
                                                                               
 ART HIPPLER, Executive Director                                               
 Alaska Right to Life                                                          
 P.O. Box 873991                                                               
 Wasilla, Alaska 99687                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 376-9234                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 65                            
                                                                               
 ERNIE LINE                                                                    
 2645 Whispering Woods                                                         
 Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                        
 Telephone:  (907)  376-6709                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 NIKKI SULLIVAN                                                                
 P.O. Box 20874                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-0874                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 789-2000                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 KRISTIN HOCK                                                                  
 117 Behrends Avenue                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-2625                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 TRICIA BONNEY, Nurse                                                          
 9175 James Boulevard                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  No number given                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 65                            
                                                                               
 TOM GORDY                                                                     
 P.O. Box 34832                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99803-4832                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 789-3953                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 65                            
                                                                               
 DAVE ROGERS, Lobbyist                                                         
 Alaska Woman's Lobby                                                          
 211 Fourth Street, Number 108                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1107                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 65                                  
                                                                               
 SID HEIDERSDORF                                                               
 P.O. Box 20658                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-0658                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 789-9858                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 65                                       
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-32, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House Judiciary Standing Committee was called to order by                 
 Chairman Joe Green at 1:08 p.m.  Members present at the call to               
 order were Representatives Con Bunde, Brian Porter, Eric Croft,               
 Ethan Berkowitz and Chairman Joe Green.  Representative Jeannette             
 James arrived at 1:15 p.m., and Representative Norman Rokeberg                
 arrived at 1:17 p.m.                                                          
                                                                               
 HB 119 - INCREASE SMALL CLAIMS JURISDICTION                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN announced that members would first consider HB
 119, "An Act raising the limit on small claims actions to $10,000;            
 and providing for an effective date."  He invited Representative              
 Mark Hodgins, Prime Sponsor of HB 119, to come forward and address            
 the committee.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 092                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS advised members that HB 119 would                 
 increase the small claims limit from the current ceiling of $5000             
 to $10,000.  He stated that he introduced the legislation because             
 he felt small claims cases were an essential part of the community            
 which enabled people to plead cases without an attorney present,              
 and receive justice at a level that was not too complicated.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS pointed out that the small claims limit had            
 been raised to $5000 in 1986, and the increase to $10,000 would               
 reflect higher values in disputes.                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that when considered by the committee              
 previously, there did not appear to be a problem with the concept;            
 however, there were concerns expressed by the court system that               
 such an increase would significantly impact the court system and              
 increase the fiscal note.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CROFT advised members that he was in support of           
 the concept and asked for Representative Hodgins opinion on why he            
 felt a limit of $10,000 would be more appropriate than raising the            
 limit to $7500.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 301                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS felt the a ceiling of $10,000 would provide            
 the opportunity for someone to argue and get justice at a court               
 level they felt comfortable with, and allow claims that more                  
 reflect the mid-range car values, snow machines, et cetera.  He               
 noted that the court system would rather increase the small claims            
 limit in incremental amounts, and he did not see the value of                 
 revisiting the issue in two to five years.  Representative Hodgins            
 pointed out that several people had suggested the limit be raised             
 to $20,000, which he felt was too much of a jump, but felt                    
 comfortable with a $10,000 limit and hoped members would concur.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS noted that if increased to $10,000, the                
 cases falling within the $5000 to $10,000 range, that would be                
 heard in a higher court, would be more expensive for the court                
 system than the small claims court.  He stated with respect to the            
 fiscal note submitted by the court system, that it would be                   
 important to find out if they were correctly shifting the amounts             
 when considering the cases that would fall under the small claims             
 court, rather then the district court if the $10,000 limit went               
 into effect.  Representative Hodgins felt that it had to be more              
 inexpensive to operate a small claims court than it would be to go            
 up to the district court level.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE noted that during previous discussions,              
 the committee had considered increasing the filing fee for small              
 claims court, and asked Representative Hodgins to respond to that.            
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS advised members he supported user fees and             
 did not have any particular opinion one way or another.  He noted             
 that the filing fee was currently $25, and it was his understanding           
 the committee was considering raising the fee to $50.                         
 Representative Hodgins stated that should the committee raise the             
 fee, he would point out that if they were doubling the small claims           
 limit, they could double the filing fee amount.                               
                                                                               
 Number 663                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked that Chris Christensen explain to members why            
 there would be a significant increase in the fiscal note because of           
 an increase in the small claims limit, and respond to the Sponsor's           
 statement regarding cases moving from district court to small                 
 claims court because of the increase in the limit.                            
                                                                               
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel, Alaska Court System, advised              
 members that the small claims court was important and that it                 
 really was the people's court.  He expressed that the Supreme Court           
 agreed with Representative Hodgins that an increase in the limit              
 would be appropriate, as the limit had not changed since 1986.  Mr.           
 Christensen pointed out that if the increase was consistent with              
 the consumer price index (CPI) in Anchorage, it would amount to               
 $6800 or $6900; however, the Supreme Court felt they could                    
 accommodate an increase to $7500.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that the court's concern of                   
 increasing the limit to $10,000 was not that the number of cases              
 would increase, although there would be some increase because of              
 the shift from district court to small claims.  He explained that             
 most folks were under the impression that small claims court was              
 cheaper for the court because it was cheaper for the litigants, but           
 this was not the case.  Mr. Christensen pointed out that the                  
 judicial costs were lower because magistrates are paid less than              
 district court judges, or superior court judges, but the clerical             
 costs were substantially higher in small claims court.  The reason            
 costs were higher was that the clerks were helping litigants things           
 a litigant's attorney normally does under formal rules.                       
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that the court's fiscal note did              
 not reflect additional costs for judicial time, only what the court           
 felt the extra clerical costs would be for the transfer of cases,             
 and also some additional training time for magistrates.  Mr.                  
 Christensen pointed out that many bills affect the court system,              
 noting that last year the court had submitted fiscal notes on                 
 approximately 140 different pieces of legislation.  He expressed              
 that the Supreme Court very rarely oppose a particular piece of               
 legislation as they feel it is the legislature's forum and                    
 legislators should make the policy call without input from them.              
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN stated that the courts did not only believe the               
 bill would result in an increase in costs, but that the increase              
 had a potential impact on the system that could not be predicted              
 and could be very severe.  He pointed out that currently there were           
 39 court locations scattered around the state which had only a                
 magistrate, with no district judge to assist.  Two thirds of the              
 magistrates were not lawyers and when increasing the dollar value             
 of cases, the complexity of the case would also increase.  He                 
 stated that an increase to $10,000 could over-tax the current                 
 training levels and abilities of a lot of the magistrates.                    
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that the court system would like to           
 see the small claims limit increase in steps; first to $7500 to see           
 how that worked for two or three years, and if that increase had              
 not caused a serious problem for the court, an increase to $10,000            
 after that period of time.  He noted that this was the tactic that            
 the legislature took during the 1980s when the district court                 
 jurisdiction increased.  Mr. Christensen pointed out that until the           
 early 80s, the district court jurisdiction was at $10,000 and there           
 was substantial sentiment to increase it to $50,000.  Theory was              
 that district judges, as well as superior court judges, were all              
 attorneys and should be able to handle that limit.  Mr. Christensen           
 expressed that the legislature increased the district court                   
 jurisdiction in three steps; $10,000 to $25,000, from $25,000 to              
 $35,000, and from $35,000 to $50,000 which provided the court                 
 system a two to three year interval between each increase to make             
 sure the system was not overloaded.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 962                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if the fiscal note would decrease if the small           
 claims jurisdiction was increased to $7500 rather than the proposed           
 $10,000 limit.                                                                
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that he would suspect that the                
 fiscal note would drop by over two thirds.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER noted that the small claims caseload              
 appeared to decrease from 15,000 to 10,000 between 1986 and 1996.             
 He asked if Mr. Christensen could provide an explanation as to why            
 the caseload decreased.                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that caseload was caused by a lot             
 of different things; increases or decreases in population, changes            
 in the state's demographics, changes in law, inflation, et cetera.            
 He pointed out that during the last recession, in 1985 and 1986, a            
 lot of people stopped paying their bills with their creditors                 
 bringing them to the small claims court, which was probably the               
 reason for an increase, and an ultimate decrease in claims during             
 the period referenced by Representative Porter.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked how Alaska's small claims jurisdiction             
 compared to other states.                                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that more than half the states had            
 a limit of $3000 or less, $5000 was typically the upper limit with            
 10 states having that, and two states had a higher limit than                 
 Alaska.  He noted that Alaska's current limit of $5000 was higher             
 than the majority of states, even when compared to states that have           
 higher costs of living, like Hawaii.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 1186                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES felt that the small claims court was           
 for cut and dried cases.  She stated that filing in small claims              
 court was a procedural matter for one to take that was least                  
 expensive and allows for a judgment.  Representative James advised            
 members that her concern was the debts that would meet the criteria           
 to file in small claims court, and if they would be between $7500             
 to $10,000.  She felt more comfortable with a $10,000 limit, rather           
 than $7500.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN expressed that a lot of the comments he had                   
 received were from district judges and magistrates.  He stated that           
 a lot of times, whether or not something was cut and dried, was               
 very closing tied to how much was involved.  The bigger the amount            
 of money involved, the less likely it would be to be a cut and                
 dried case, or perceived as such.                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN moved to amend HB 119, page 1, line 1, delete                  
 [$10,000] and insert $7500, and page 1, line 5, delete [$10,000]              
 and insert $7500.  Representative Porter objected for the purpose             
 of making a comment.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER advised members that he would support the               
 motion; however, when the committee moved the bill out of                     
 committee, he would move it with a zero fiscal note.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG advised members that a number of               
 states exempt landlord tenant actions, and other real property                
 actions from small claims jurisdiction.  He pointed out that in               
 many commercial transactions, a $10,000 claim could easily be run             
 up after a tenant's only in arrears by more than two months rent,             
 noting that they were not talking about a great deal of delinquency           
 before reaching the small claims limit.  Representative Rokeberg              
 expressed that he would reluctantly support the amendment, given              
 the comments presented by Representative Porter regarding the                 
 fiscal note.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked why the other areas of the bill that               
 referenced $10,000 were not included in the amendment to reduce the           
 limit to $7500.                                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN apologized, and advised members that had been an               
 oversight.   The amendment should reflect the change of $10,000 to            
 $7500 where ever it appeared in the bill.                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ advised members he was in support of           
 the amendment; however, did not see how they could say the increase           
 in the small claims jurisdiction would not cost anything, when the            
 court says differently.  He noted that they should recognize when             
 giving the court system additional duties and responsibilities,               
 they would need the means to handle that responsibility.                      
                                                                               
 Number 1789                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if Mr. Christensen would address that issue,             
 and if it would result in a zero fiscal note if the limit were                
 dropped from $10,000 to $7500.                                                
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members the court would expect to realize             
 some increase in costs even at the $7500 limit.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES expressed that she would support the                     
 amendment, and also agreed with Representative Porter regarding the           
 fiscal note.  She would also like to increase the filing fee from             
 $25 to $50.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER withdrew his objection.  There being no                 
 objection, Amendment 1, HB 119 was adopted.                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE agreed with Representative James that the                
 filing fee should be increased.  He noted that a filing fee was not           
 addressed in the proposed legislation, but if the Chair would                 
 entertain a conceptual amendment, he would move for that increase.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE moved a conceptual amendment to HB 119 to                
 change the fee from $25 to $50.  There were objections.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that Mr. Christensen had testified                 
 previously that an increase in the filing fee would also impact the           
 court system.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that his concern was the importance           
 of small claims court for the little guy.  He stated that when they           
 start increasing the filing fee, they could be making it more                 
 difficult for some people to attempt to seek justice.  Mr.                    
 Christensen pointed out though, that all fees were turned over to             
 the general fund, and not kept by the court system for operation              
 costs.  He stated that the fiscal note should probably be higher,             
 noting that currently the court charged $60 to file a district                
 court case, and if transferring district court cases to small                 
 claims court, there would be a reduction in the fees they collect             
 and turn over to the general fund.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN advised members that the Supreme Court sets the               
 fees and does a thorough review of the fees every five years, and             
 frequently changes individual fees on the chart every year.  He               
 expressed that when the court changed fees, they consider what was            
 being done in other states, the cost of living, et cetera and                 
 attempt to arrive at a fee that would not deter people from seeking           
 access to justice.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG felt there was no reason they could not               
 raise the fees, or have a two-tiered fee schedule, based on the               
 amount of the claim.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER expressed that it was his belief that to                
 change a fee would involve a change in the court rules and would              
 require a two thirds vote of the body.  He advised members that he            
 would be more inclined to support a change in the fee if the limit            
 was increased to $10,000.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made note that the last time the small claims            
 fee was set was in the mid 80s, and would point out the difference            
 in the permanent dividend check between the mid 80s and what it was           
 now.  Representative Bunde called for the question.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG advised members the reason for his                    
 objection was that he would prefer to see a two tiered fee, and               
 asked if the maker of the motion would consider that as a friendly            
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE felt that would involve more and more                    
 paperwork, and did not feel a $50 filing fee would present an                 
 impediment for people filing in small claims court.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ maintained his objection.  He stated that            
 when raising fees there should be an understanding what the impact            
 would be.  He noted that when taxes are raised, they consider the             
 effect of the tax, and when other revenue enhancement goes on for             
 the state, it was the legislatures responsibility to see who would            
 be affected.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  In favor:                         
 Representatives Bunde and James.  Opposed:  Representatives                   
 Rokeberg, Croft, Berkowitz and Chairman Green.  Representative                
 Porter was not present during this roll call vote.  Amendment 2, HB
 119, failed adoption, 4 to 2.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved a conceptual amendment to implement             
 a fee schedule of $25 for claims ranging from $1 to $2500, and a              
 $50 fee schedule for claims ranging from $2501 to $7500.                      
 Representatives Croft and Berkowitz objected.                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  In favor:                         
 Representatives Bunde, Porter, Rokeberg and James.  Opposed:                  
 Representatives Croft, Berkowitz and Chairman Green.  Amendment 3,            
 HB 119, was adopted, 4 to 3.                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to report CSHB 119 (JUD) out of                   
 committee with a zero fiscal note, pointing out that the court                
 could address that issue in the House Finance Committee.                      
 Representatives Croft objected to the zero fiscal note.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  In favor:                         
 Representatives Bunde, Porter, Rokeberg, James and Chairman Green.            
 Opposed:  Representatives Croft and Berkowitz.  CSHB 119 (JUD) was            
 reported out of committee with a zero fiscal note prepared by the             
 House Judiciary Committee.                                                    
                                                                               
 HB 37 - PARENTAL CONSENT BEFORE MINOR'S ABORTION                              
                                                                               
 Number 2333                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that members would continue discussion on            
 HB 37, "An Act relating to a requirement that a parent, guardian,             
 or custodian consent before certain minors receive an abortion;               
 establishing a judicial bypass procedure by which a minor may                 
 petition a court for authorization to consent to an abortion                  
 without consent of a parent, guardian, or custodian; amending the             
 definition of `abortion'; and amending Rules 40 and 79, Alaska                
 Rules of Civil Procedure; Rules 204, 210, 212, 213, 508, and 512.5,           
 Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure; and Rule 9, Alaska                       
 Administrative Rules."  He added that public testimony was closed             
 at the last meeting, and deliberation would begin among committee             
 members.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ advised members that a gentleman 80 years            
 old had called into the committee from the Mat-Su Valley during the           
 previous meeting. The individual had expressed to members that he             
 had been a republican all his life.  Representative Berkowitz                 
 wondered where the republicans were who were opposing governmental            
 regulation of people's lives.  He pointed out that if there was no            
 government, there would be no reason for young women to have                  
 parental notification.                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ advised members that what HB 37 did was              
 impose an additional requirement on young women to have the                   
 government interfere with their lives, which to him was a troubling           
 step to take.  He noted that he had also asked a question of the              
 sponsor regarding a young woman who wanted to have the child, but             
 her parents wanted her to get an abortion.  The response from the             
 sponsor was that it would amount to some form of coercion.                    
 Representative Berkowitz felt that explanation would also apply to            
 the circumstance the sponsor was trying to prevent.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ read into the record AS 11.41.530.  "A               
 person commits the crime of coercion if the person compels another            
 to engage in conduct from which there is a legal right to abstain             
 or abstain from conduct in which there is a legal right to engage."           
 Representative Berkowitz advised members that what was being done             
 under HB 37 was coercing young women to engage in conduct with                
 their parents which they would not otherwise have to do.                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ pointed out that women had the right to              
 chose whether or not to have an abortion.  If the legislature says            
 that women under the age 18 do not have that right, that it was a             
 form of coercion.  He advised members they were making people give            
 up rights, and not giving anything in return.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that, in his mind, there had been             
 a somewhat disingenuous analogy that HB 37 was not about abortion,            
 but about parental rights.  Representative Berkowitz expressed that           
 another person who testified from the Mat-Su Valley indicated that            
 the proposed legislation was the first step to banning all                    
 abortions.  He stated that for members to sit there and                       
 intellectualize that the bill addressed parental notification and             
 parental rights, he felt forgets what the whole foundation of the             
 American system of jurisprudence and the constitution stood for,              
 which was individual rights.  Representative Berkowitz stated that            
 if individuals chose to expand and form family units, that was                
 their prerogative, but it was absolutely not within the                       
 government's purview to tell people how to behave with other                  
 individuals.                                                                  
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-32, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that young women would chose to               
 have abortions regardless of the notification.  And the                       
 consequence, based on testimony he had heard, was that young women            
 would die.  Representative Berkowitz stated that it was a decision            
 members would have to make, but those were the reasons he would               
 oppose HB 37.                                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that he understood that those who             
 were supportive of the bill were doing so with the best intention,            
 but advised members there was a cost in supporting it to the                  
 strength of the state's constitutional guarantees to the right to             
 privacy, and the right to have an abortion if a woman chose to do             
 so.                                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ also thought it sent a very peculiar                 
 message, given other pieces of legislation that had passed through            
 the House Judiciary Committee, such as juveniles who engage in                
 criminal conduct would be held to adult standards.   HB 37 was                
 saying that juveniles who engage in adult conduct, by getting                 
 pregnant, would not be entrusted with adult rights and                        
 responsibilities.  Representative Berkowitz went on to state that             
 after a child is born to a juvenile, that juvenile is charged with            
 taking care of the infant and had full medical control over that              
 baby.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ expressed that HB 37 was so full of                  
 internal contradictions, from a policy and constitutional                     
 perspective, that it baffled him why it was even before the                   
 committee.  He advised members that he was a strong supporter of              
 families and a strong supporter of individual rights, but the issue           
 at hand was taking them down a road where they should not be going,           
 because it produced more government, and less personal freedom.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN expressed that Representative Berkowitz made a very            
 compelling argument; however, he would attempt to counter it by               
 pointing out that it was legal for a young girl to go to an R-rated           
 movie, would be legal for her to take an overdose of aspirin or               
 sleeping pills.  He pointed out that it was even legal for a young            
 woman to physically incur pain on herself, and legal for her to               
 take her own life.  Chairman Green advised members that his point             
 was that there were rights that a person should, and certainly                
 could, impose on the rearing of their children.                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN felt that the reference Representative Berkowitz               
 made about coercion that it seemed to him there were special                  
 situations between parents and children that supersede coercion.              
 He stated that every time there was a difference of opinion between           
 a child and a parent, that in each case the parent would be                   
 exercising coercion on the child because the parent would prevail.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ pointed out that he was not the one who              
 initially suggested coercion played into the question.  It was                
 through testimony from a woman in Chicago, as well as the sponsor             
 of the bill.  He clarified that he had asked the question regarding           
 what would happen if a young woman wanted to have the child and her           
 parents wanted her to have an abortion.  The response he got was              
 that it would constitute coercion.  Representative Berkowitz                  
 explained that what he was saying was that the flip side of that              
 coin also constituted coercion.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that that was an opinion, rather than a            
 legal argument from the sponsor of HB 37.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 176                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded to testimony provided by                       
 Representative Berkowitz.  She stated that to her, HB 37 was a                
 parents' rights issue.  Representative James expressed that if                
 there was no government interfering with family rights today, they            
 would not be arguing about that point.  She pointed out that there            
 were so many ways the government had gotten into the family rights            
 that parents had been disavowed of any ability to raise their                 
 children the way they want.  Part of that began with the federal              
 rule when they required doctors and teachers to report suspected              
 child abuse and child neglect if suspicion existed.  Representative           
 James stated that government had the same responsibility to protect           
 children because they were minors and not able to make certain                
 decisions.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES advised members she was passionate about the             
 issue of parental rights, and to her, it had nothing to do with               
 abortion.  She claimed that HB 37 was the first step that she was             
 going to try to take, in the next few years, to see to it that                
 parents get their rights back.  Representative James stated that              
 minors were minors until they were determined to not be minors, and           
 while they are minors, they are under the control and                         
 responsibility of their parents.  Representative James stated with            
 respect to the juvenile issues where they wanted to make the                  
 parents responsible for juvenile acts, that they could not make the           
 parent responsible unless the parent is given the ability to                  
 discipline their children.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 364                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ expressed that he did not mean to convey             
 that his sole concern was to protect abortion rights.  He stated              
 that abortion rights, to him, were just one aspect of individual              
 rights and the right to privacy.  Representative Berkowitz stated             
 that if they allow government to wage any kind of attack on                   
 individual or personal rights, it would erode the very freedoms               
 that most in Alaska hold very dear; so dear, that Alaska was one of           
 the very few states in the country to enshrine in the State's                 
 Constitution, the right to privacy.  He felt that anytime you take            
 a step away from those rights that it was to the detriment of all             
 Alaskans.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER felt the issue at hand was one that most came           
 to the table with preconditioned feelings because it was an issue             
 that was hard to run for office and not have a lot of folks talk to           
 you about how you felt about things.  It was because of this that             
 he wanted to make sure that he was understood that his vote for the           
 proposed legislation was not a vote for pro-life or abortion.                 
 Representative Porter stated that it was a parental rights                    
 situation based on all of the legislation and philosophical change            
 that he felt the past two legislatures had tried to bring about by            
 allowing parents to have the authority to be responsible for their            
 children.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that he could not recall any mention             
 of the types of issues that HB 37 dealt with when voting on the               
 constitutional amendment for privacy.  He did recall a lot of                 
 discussion on the concern of the computer era of being able to                
 amass volumes of information on people, and that individual rights            
 needed to be protected from computer invasion.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER advised members that there was case law in              
 abundance that upheld the public policy to implement restrictions             
 of what otherwise might be rights or privileges of adults on                  
 juveniles, at different ages for different things.  He would not              
 think that the Supreme Court would consider HB 37 as an exception             
 to a reasonable determination of public policy.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER advised members that the reason he was pro-             
 choice was that during the first few years he was in law                      
 enforcement, abortion was a crime in the state of Alaska.  He                 
 expressed that he had had the unfortunate duty to respond and clean           
 up after a good number of illegal abortions.  Representative Porter           
 explained that he had talked to families and individuals who had              
 attempted to abort themselves, and when the law changed, he was               
 pleased that he would not have to continue to make those kinds of             
 responses.  Representative Porter expressed that if he thought for            
 a moment that HB 37 would get back to that, he would not support              
 it.                                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 586                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated with regard to whether the bill was               
 about parental rights or abortion, that during previous testimony,            
 Representative Bunde stated, "So in other words, you want complete            
 control of your kids except if they want an abortion."                        
 Representative Croft pointed out that this was what HB 37 did, it             
 provided control to tell the child they could not.  He felt                   
 Representative Bunde's statement summarized the bill very well, and           
 brought back what the proposed legislation was about.  "It's about            
 abortion."                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT expressed that he did not have children, but             
 stated that if he did have a daughter, and when he does, he would             
 hope she would come to him if she found herself in a situation of             
 being pregnant.  The question was whether he wanted to give her no            
 other choice, to force a decision, or simply do all he could as a             
 parent.  Representative Croft stated that he was not ready to say             
 it was her only choice, short of going before a judge.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that he asked a number of the witnesses            
 who testified whether there were any situations where they would              
 allow their child to have an abortion.  The uniform answer he                 
 received was, "under no circumstance", one response was "over my              
 dead body", or "not as long as I'm alive".  He had no reason to               
 doubt that those people were good parents, but there was an                   
 example, to him, of good parents that leave no legitimate option              
 for a child.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that, unfortunately, there were              
 people who were extremely poor parents where physical and sexual              
 abuse occurred and the bill could very well require a young woman             
 to go to the source of her abuse and ask for permission.                      
 Representative Croft stated that he was not willing to do any of              
 that.  He stated that while he did not yet have children, and if he           
 ever did, he would try and raise them so they could come to him,              
 but he would not limit them to only one option.                               
                                                                               
 Number 1106                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN advised members that the skill in dialogue, by both            
 Representatives Croft and Berkowitz was obvious, but he asked                 
 Representative Croft, that if HB 37 created an invasion of privacy,           
 and on occasion young women had died from improper abortions, that            
 women had died from proper abortions also, and young women had died           
 from child birth.  Chairman Green stated that the fact remained               
 that parents had lost what they enjoyed with regard to parental               
 rights in the past.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE advised members that he was a parent, and did            
 have a daughter.  He stated that he would not support the proposed            
 legislation at all without the judicial bypass provision, because             
 not all parents are good parents.  Representative Bunde stated that           
 as a parent, and as a pro-choice person, he felt they undermined              
 people's ability to choose by allowing, or encouraging minors to              
 get involved in an invasive surgical procedure without some adult             
 consent, advisement or involvement.                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ felt that if they were framing the debate            
 in terms of parental rights, there should have been a better bill             
 to discuss that issue, other than the one before the committee.               
 He pointed out that abortion was a contentious issue, and if there            
 was a genuine concern about erosion of parental rights, a bill                
 should be put forward that specifically addressed that topic.                 
 Representative Berkowitz stated that when a bill like HB 37 comes             
 forward that aims to, and actually did divide Alaskans, the quality           
 of legislation that comes out, and its ability to heal and                    
 strengthen families was minimal.  Representative Berkowitz hoped              
 that Representative Porter was right, and that he was wrong, that             
 women would not die if HB 37 was enacted into law.                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that the problem that often arose between               
 individuals or organizations where there was a fairly strong                  
 difference of opinion, that in nearly every case he had been                  
 associated with, the lack of communication had been the problem.              
 He noted that mediation had become a very popular concept because             
 it caused people to communicate.  Chairman Green expressed that               
 while HB 37 was limited in its scope to speak to abortions needing            
 parental consent, that it did create a need to go back to                     
 communicating between parents and children.                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that on issues of extreme importance, such as           
 the intent of HB 37, that to create a need that the child make an             
 effort to consent with the parent or get a judicial bypass, to him,           
 was not an invasion and would not create chaos, and may not even              
 change the number of people getting abortions.  But it brings the             
 child and the parent together, which was important to him.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1193                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that Representative Porter and Bunde           
 had spoken eloquently and reflected his philosophical position on             
 the overriding issue before the committee.  He advised members that           
 his vote today would be one of the few occasions that they have as            
 legislators to get a hold of the very amorphous issue called family           
 values.  He felt there were compelling reasons for the state to               
 allow parents to perform their duties and responsibilities of                 
 parenting, and he felt that was what the issue was about.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG was hopeful that the proposed legislation             
 would be an effective element in producing some salutatory effects            
 on what he felt was the largest social problem in the country,                
 which was teen pregnancy.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt draft CSHB 37 (JUD), Version             
 "F", dated 3/4/97.  There being no objection, CSHB 37(JUD) was                
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES moved to report CSHB 37(JUD) out of committee            
 with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal notes.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  In favor:                         
 Representatives Bunde, Porter, Rokeberg, James and Chairman Green.            
 Opposed:  Representative Croft and Berkowitz.  CSHB 37(JUD) was               
 reported out of committee.                                                    
                                                                               
 HB 65 - PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1404                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated that the committee would consider HB 65,             
 "An Act relating to partial-birth abortions."  He noted that this             
 was a procedure to abort a child before it clears the birth canal             
 by the insertion of a sharp instrument, probably scissors into the            
 back of a skull.  He added that version B of this bill, dated                 
 3/4/97, was before the committee.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1451                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT came forward to testify on HB 65 as                  
 sponsor to this legislation.  He stated that this legislation was             
 a fairly simple measure and it does one thing.  It prohibits what             
 has been termed "partial-birth abortions" from occurring in Alaska.           
 Partial-birth abortions involve a series of steps which are                   
 horrible, unconscionable and smacks in the face of hideousness.  He           
 stated that these techniques are gruesome and he noted that he had            
 provided written documentation of the same, along with the sponsor            
 statement.  He stated that the technique enumerated in the sponsor            
 statement was obtained from a Dr. Martin Haskell enumerated in a              
 1992 paper provided to the National Abortion Federation.  This bill           
 does not in any way restrict abortions from occurring in Alaska but           
 rather a type of procedure that is used.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that partial-birth abortions occur                 
 anywhere from nineteen weeks through to full term.  "Essentially              
 one relies on the cervical entrapment of the head to help keep the            
 baby in place while the insertion is made to complete the process."           
 He stated that the committee has before it a committee substitute             
 that he felt captured the intent of the legislature as it relates             
 to this particular measure.  He felt that enough substantiating               
 documentation provided by members of the medical community that               
 suggest that this procedure is not a necessity to save the life of            
 a mother.  "There will also be some discussion on whether or not              
 the procedure is performed in an abundance of the cases.  I think             
 that you will hear and bear out some facts that this is not a                 
 procedure that is rarely used.  In fact, just this past week, with            
 I believe with the reintroduction of a bill in Congress, a Ron                
 Fitzsimmons, the Executive Director for the National Coalition of             
 Abortion Providers, said that he mislead the public because he                
 feared the truth would damage the abortion rights cause.  This was            
 in relationship to the number of times this procedure was used and            
 the reasons for using it."                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1745                                                                   
                                                                               
 GEORGE DOZIER, Aide to Representative Kott, came forward to testify           
 on HB 65.  He read a statement into the record.                               
                                                                               
 "At the outset, I would like to discuss, just briefly, federal                
 constitutional requirements in the abortion context.  As everyone             
 knows, the seminal case addressing the constitutionality of                   
 abortion in the United States is Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113.                     
 Generally, the Court held as follows:                                         
                                                                               
 "1. The fourteenth amendment includes a right to privacy, and this            
 right is broad enough to include the right to obtain an abortion.             
 Roe, 410 US, at 177.                                                          
                                                                               
 "2. This right is not absolute and may be limited by states'                  
 legitimate interest in safeguarding women's health, maintaining               
 proper medical standards, and protecting potential human life.                
 Roe, 410 US, at 177.                                                          
                                                                               
 "3. Applying these principles, the Court arrived at the following             
 conclusions.  During the first trimester, the state, essentially,             
 may not interfere in a woman's decision to obtain an abortion.                
 Roe, 410 US, at 183.  From the end of the first trimester, the                
 state may regulate abortion to safeguard the health of the mother.            
 From the point of viability, the state may proscribe abortions,               
 except where necessary to preserve the life and health of the                 
 mother.  Roe, 410 US, at 183.                                                 
                                                                               
 "4. It may be noted that the Roe Court specifically and expressly             
 rejected an argument that a pregnant woman is '...entitled to                 
 terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for            
 whatever reason she chooses.'  Roe, 410 US, at 177.                           
                                                                               
 "The most recent Supreme Court opinion discussing abortion is                 
 Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which can be found at 505 U.S. 833;              
 120 L Ed 2d 674 (1992).  In Casey, the Court found that states have           
 a substantial interest in potential human life, and that this                 
 extends throughout the pregnancy.  Casey, 120 L Ed 2d, at 714.                
 Indeed, this interest is characterized as 'profound'.  Casey, 120             
 L. Ed 2d, at 715. The Court found that its opinions subsequent to             
 Roe had undervalued this interest of states in potential human                
 life, 120 L Ed 2d, at 711, and as a consequence, it rejected the              
 rigid trimester system first articulated in Roe. Casey, 120 L Ed              
 2d, at 710.  Instead, it divided pregnancies into two periods---              
 pre-viability and viability.                                                  
                                                                               
 "According to the Casey Court, during that first period, in which             
 the baby is not viable, states may not place an 'undue burden' on             
 a woman's right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy.  It               
 defined 'undue burden' as regulations that have the purpose or                
 effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman               
 seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.  120 L Ed 2d, at 715.               
                                                                               
 "During the second period, in which the baby is viable, the                   
 constitutional standard is different.  As stated by the court, in             
 quoting from Roe: '...subsequent to viability, the State in                   
 promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it           
 chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is            
 necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of           
 the life or health of the mother.'  Casey, 120 L Ed 2d, at 716.               
                                                                               
 "To summarize: First, the state has a substantial interest in                 
 potential human life which extends throughout the pregnancy.                  
 Second, prior to viability, the state can not place an undue burden           
 on the right to pregnancy, which means placing a substantial                  
 obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.  Third, after            
 viability, the state may regulate abortion, and even prohibit them,           
 except where necessary to protect the life or health of the mother.           
                                                                               
 "Since partial birth-abortions span the last part of the pre-                 
 viability stage and into the viability stage, HB 65 is specifically           
 designed to cover both stages.  Hence, it must be analyzed with               
 respect to both standards.  HB 65 more than meets these standards.            
                                                                               
 "First, with respect to pre-viability abortions, HB 65 does not               
 place an undue burden on the right to chose an abortion.  That is             
 to say, it does not place a substantial obstacle, either by intent            
 or in effect, in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.  After              
 all, it does not proscribe abortions per se.  It merely makes one             
 particular form of abortion, and a particularly egregious form at             
 that, illegal.  All other forms of abortion remain open to pregnant           
 women.  The fact that this does not place a substantial obstacle in           
 the path of women seeking abortion is clear.  The Director of                 
 Public Health in Alaska testifying before the State Affairs                   
 Committee a couple of weeks ago testified that partial-birth                  
 abortions, as defined by the bill, have not been performed in                 
 Alaska.  Thus, the question must be asked: Does HB 65, which                  
 proscribes a procedure which, thus far, is not done in Alaska,                
 place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an                
 abortion? The answer, by definition, is clearly no.  The procedure            
 is not available anyway.                                                      
                                                                               
 "In that regard, can it really be a substantial obstacle to require           
 abortionists to conform to the standards of abortion practice                 
 already present and accepted by  practitioners in Alaska.  That, to           
 my mind, is no obstacle at all, let alone a substantial one.                  
                                                                               
 "In short, all options presently available to women to obtain                 
 abortions remain unaffected.  There is no obstacle, and thus, the             
 first standard---that which applies to pre-viability stage---is               
 clearly satisfied.                                                            
                                                                               
 "The second standard, which applies to viable babies, is also                 
 satisfied.  As I previously indicated, during the period of                   
 viability, the Supreme Court recognizes that the state may regulate           
 or even proscribe abortions, except where necessary to preserve the           
 life or health of the mother.  HB 65 does not ban abortions during            
 this period; it merely bans a particular procedure.  Thus, it is              
 more of a regulation of abortion than a proscription.  And, the               
 state is free to regulate, except where necessary to preserve the             
 life and health of the mother.  HB 65 contains an express exception           
 applicable to the life of the mother.  It does not mention health.            
 However, it does not need to expressly mention health for the                 
 following reasons:                                                            
                                                                               
 "First, all forms of abortion present in Alaska remain in effect.             
 If the mother's health requires an abortion, she continues to have            
 recourse to those procedures.  Her health is protected.                       
                                                                               
 "Second, even when partial-birth abortions become available in                
 Alaska, their ban would not adversely impact maternal health.  The            
 Committee was provided with voluminous material clearly                       
 establishing that fact.  For instance, as Dr. Pamela Smith, who is            
 the Director of Medical Education, Department of Obstetrics and               
 Gynecology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago, testified before the             
 US Senate: 'There are absolutely no obstetrical situations                    
 encountered in this country which require a partially delivered               
 human fetus to be destroyed to preserve the life or health of the             
 mother'.  Similarly, Dr. James Jones, who is chairman of the                  
 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the New York Medical               
 College, stated, regarding partial-birth abortions, that he 'can't            
 imagine that being an indicated procedure for the saving of a life            
 or well-being of the mother.'  Although the America Medical                   
 Association (AMA) has remained neutral on the issue, its                      
 Legislative Council voted unanimously to recommend that the AMA               
 endorse the federal partial-birth ban.  In so doing, it stated that           
 the procedure is basically repulsive and is not a recognized                  
 medical technique.  Again, the former Surgeon General of the United           
 States, Dr. C. Everett Koop stated: '...In no way can I twist my              
 mind to see that the late-term abortion as described---you know,              
 partial-birth, and then destruction of the unborn child before the            
 head is born---is a medical necessity for the mother.'  Similarly,            
 Dr. Warren Hern, who wrote the Horn Book on late term abortions,              
 stated in an article in American Medical News: 'You really can't              
 defend it... I would dispute any statement that this is the safest            
 procedure to use.'  He stated further: 'You have to be concerned              
 about causing amniotic fluid embolism or placental abruption if you           
 do that.'                                                                     
                                                                               
 "I won't bore you with more opinions.  There are plenty in the                
 materials that have been provided.  The point is that partial-birth           
 abortions are not necessary for the health of the mother.                     
                                                                               
 "In summary, the Legislature can conclude that partial-birth                  
 abortions are not necessary to preserve the health of the mother,             
 and indeed may even be inimical to the health of the mother.  No              
 express exception is needed, since all other procedures remain                
 available.                                                                    
                                                                               
 "Thus, both the pre-viability and the post-viability standards                
 required by Casey are satisfied.  That being the case, all that is            
 required is that there be some rational basis for HB 65.  And,                
 there are several permissible state interests that are advanced by            
 HB 65.  Indeed, the State has compelling interests in preventing              
 such procedures.  Let me suggest but a few.                                   
                                                                               
 "First, delivering a baby just to the very cusp of constitutional             
 personhood and then killing it, just inches away from being                   
 completely born, is cruel.  Indeed, Dr. Isada, who spoke against HB
 65 before the House State Affairs Committee, described one aspect             
 of partial-birth abortion---sticking scissors into the baby's                 
 skull---as gruesome.  The state has a very strong interest in                 
 protecting human life from such cruel and gruesome actions.  If the           
 state can prevent cruelty to animals, it certainly can do the same            
 thing for human life.                                                         
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-33, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
 "Second, partially delivering a baby ---or, I should say almost               
 entirely delivering a baby---and then killing it tends to mix the             
 roles of obstetrician and abortionist.  The former are healers, and           
 they are perceived as such by the general public.  Abortionists, in           
 the overwhelming number of cases, ---for instance I refer you to              
 Dr. Haskill's statement that 80% of his partial-birth abortions are           
 elective---are not healers.  They perform some other function.  By            
 mixing these two opposing roles, there is great danger that public            
 confidence in the medical profession will be undermined.                      
                                                                               
 "Third, bringing a baby right to the very edge of complete birth              
 and then sucking its brains out is inherently disrespectful of                
 human dignity.                                                                
                                                                               
 "Fourth, the state has a legitimate and compelling interest in                
 drawing a clear distinction between legal abortion and infanticide.           
 Partial-birth abortions blur that distinction.  Furthermore, it may           
 be noted that the difference between a viable baby who has just               
 emerged from the womb and a viable baby who is almost out of the              
 womb is negligible.  But for a few inches they are the same.  To              
 permit the killing of one and forbid the killing of the other is              
 ludicrous and will breed disrespect for the law.  So fine a                   
 distinction, carrying such dire consequences,  can not but be                 
 scoffed at by Alaska's people.                                                
                                                                               
 "Hence, in my opinion, partial-birth abortions are fully                      
 constitutional under the guidelines established by the United                 
 States Supreme Court.  I would like to turn now to some of the                
 specific arguments that have been made thus far against the                   
 constitutionality of HB 65.                                                   
                                                                               
 "First, it has been argued that HB 65 creates an undue burden                 
 because partial-birth abortions are the safest alternative.  This,            
 of course, is an assertion of fact, and the alleged fact is                   
 extremely dubious.  This Committee has been provided with an                  
 abundance of materials indicating that partial-birth abortions are            
 not necessary for maternal health and further indicating that                 
 partial-birth abortions, in themselves, present a risk to maternal            
 health.                                                                       
                                                                               
 "It also has been argued that the Supreme Court, in Planned                   
 Parenthood v. Danforth, held unconstitutional an abortion statute             
 which proscribes the use saline amniocentesis, in part because such           
 a prohibition would force women to use more dangerous methods.  On            
 the surface, this argument has a certain appeal.  After all, HB 65,           
 like Danforth, involves the proscription of a defined abortion                
 procedure.  However, Danforth is clearly distinguishable, on at               
 least three grounds.  First, HB 65, unlike the Danforth statute,              
 does not force women to use procedures which are less safe than               
 partial-birth abortions.  Second, the Danforth court emphasized               
 that the proscribed method was the most prevalent available, and              
 that another safe method was not yet available.  Here, with HB 65,            
 the proscribed method is not yet used in Alaska and other, safe,              
 methods are available.  Third, Danforth predates Casey and thus its           
 analysis focused on whether the statute advanced maternal health.             
 This was during the period in which states' interest in protecting            
 potential human life was undervalued.  Casey changed all of that.             
 Now, unlike when Danforth was decided, it is recognized that the              
 state's interest in human life may be asserted throughout                     
 pregnancy.  HB 65 does just that, and it may be expected that the             
 right to assert that interest would be weighed in any                         
 constitutional challenge.  Danforth, quite simply, is                         
 distinguishable.                                                              
                                                                               
 "In the past it also has been argued that the only Court to review            
 a ban similar to HB 65 invalidated it, because for some women the             
 prohibited procedure would be safer than other available                      
 techniques.  The case is Women's Medical Professional Corp v.                 
 Voinovich, 911 F. Supp. 1051 (S.D. Ohio 1995).  The Court in that             
 case, within the context of deciding whether to issue a preliminary           
 injunction and prior to a full trial, held that D&X was safer than            
 other methods; and, because D&X was more available than induction             
 methods, which require  hospitalization, a proscription on D&X was            
 a substantial burden.  The Court in that case was certainly                   
 entitled to make its findings.  This Committee has an equal right             
 to make findings of fact, and ample evidence has been presented to            
 it to base a contrary finding concerning safety.  Moreover, this              
 Committee reasonably can not find, given the previous testimony of            
 the Public Health Director, that partial-birth abortions are more             
 prevalent than any other methods in Alaska.  In Alaska, partial-              
 birth abortions, thus far, have not been performed.  Our state,               
 fortunately, seems to lag behind the rest of the United States in             
 adopting undesirable conduct.                                                 
                                                                               
 "It also has been argued that the definition of partial-birth                 
 abortions is overbroad because it could encompass procedures other            
 than partial-birth abortions.  It is true that statutes which are             
 so broad as to sweep within their coverage not only properly                  
 proscribed acts but also constitutionally protected acts are                  
 unconstitutional.  The definition employed in HB 65, however, is              
 not of that nature.  It does not overlap other alternative methods.           
 They are clearly distinct and clearly outside the coverage of HB
 65.  It is also argued that the definition is vague.  Vague                   
 statutes, particularly those that impose criminal liabilities, are            
 unconstitutional.  However, HB 65's definition is not vague.  It is           
 clear and precise.  It establishes definitively what is proscribed.           
 Persons of common intelligence easily can understand what is                  
 prohibited and thus there will not be a chilling effect.                      
 Proponents of this argument may have in mind the definition used in           
 the statute examined by the court in Voinovich.  There, the court--           
 -and I think quite rightly--- concluded that there was an overlap             
 and that the statute was vague.  But, the definition of D&X                   
 employed in that case does not in the slightest resemble HB 65's              
 definition.  I can quote the Ohio definition for you.  'The                   
 termination of a human pregnancy by purposely inserting a suction             
 device into the skull of a fetus to remove the brain.  "Dilation              
 and extraction procedure" does not include either the suction                 
 curettage procedure of abortion or the suction aspiration procedure           
 of abortion.' The court found that this definition overlaps normal            
 D&E procedure (because both may involve inserting a suction device            
 into the skull) and because D&E is not excluded as suction                    
 curettage or suction aspiration.  Further, the Voinovich Court                
 noted that in analyzing statutes for vagueness, the absence of a              
 mens rea requirement is somewhat persuasive.  In fact, it relied on           
 this concept in finding another portion of the Ohio law                       
 unconstitutionally vague.  In HB 65, it may be noted that there is            
 an express mens rea.                                                          
                                                                               
 "Concerns regarding vagueness are misplaced.  This bill does not              
 resemble, in any respect, the statute considered by the Voinovich             
 court.  It is clear and precise, and it does not overlap any other            
 abortion procedure.  It is such as to apprise people of common                
 intelligence what is being prohibited, and there is no reason to              
 believe that it will  have a chilling effect on constitutionally              
 protected acts.  Finally, since it is clear, there is no danger of            
 arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.                                      
                                                                               
 "Finally, it is argued that the privacy clause of the Alaska                  
 Constitution would be violated by HB 65.  The Alaska Supreme Court            
 has not yet decided an abortion case using this constitutional                
 provision.  What we do know is that, although the right is broader            
 than the privacy right found by the US Supreme Court in the US                
 Constitution, it is not absolute.  And, certainly, the right to               
 privacy is not violated when an alleged infringement is justified             
 by a legitimate and compelling governmental interest.                         
                                                                               
 "Although the Alaska Constitution's right of privacy is deemed to             
 be broader than that of the United States Constitution, it does not           
 reach everywhere and cover all things.  Essentially there is a two            
 step analysis that is required.  First, it must be determined if              
 the conduct in question is within the scope of the amendment.                 
 Then, and only then, it must be determined if the alleged                     
 infringement bears a fair and substantial relation to a compelling            
 governmental interest.                                                        
                                                                               
 "First, does partial-birth abortions fall within the scope of the             
 amendment?  The Alaska Supreme Court has determined that this issue           
 is resolved by answering two questions:  (1) Does the person have             
 an actual (that is, subjective) expectation of privacy concerning             
 the conduct? (2) Is the expectation one that society is prepared to           
 recognize as reasonable?  If both questions are answered in the               
 affirmative, the conduct falls within the scope of the privacy                
 amendment.  Hilbers v. Muni. of Anchorage, 611 P. 2d 31 (1980).               
                                                                               
 "In Alaska, as with the rest of the United States over the last               
 quarter century, many people have been conditioned to perceive                
 abortion as part of the culture.  Indeed, the Casey Court made much           
 of that fact in discussing whether or not it would be appropriate             
 to abandon the central tenants of Roe.  Given this state of                   
 affairs, it would not surprise me that some would have a subjective           
 expectation a privacy right to engage in even this gruesome                   
 procedure.  But, is subjective expectation something that we as a             
 society are prepared to recognize as reasonable?  I think not.  In            
 my opinion, for the reasons I have discussed at length in this                
 testimony, society is not even close to recognizing as reasonable             
 any such assertion of a privacy right to obtain a partial-birth               
 abortion.  Hence, this procedure falls outside the scope of the               
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 "Even assuming, arguendo, that partial-birth abortions are within             
 the scope of Alaska's constitutional right to privacy, society's              
 hands are not tied.  As previously stated, the right is not                   
 absolute.  An alleged 'infringement' is permissible if it bears a             
 fair and  substantial relationship to a compelling governmental               
 interest.                                                                     
                                                                               
 "I respectfully submit to you that Alaska has a compelling state              
 interest in protecting babies, who are almost born, who are mostly            
 outside the bodies of their mothers, from having their brains                 
 sucked out.  I also submit that the government has a compelling               
 interest in protecting public confidence in the medical profession            
 by not blurring the roles of healer and abortionist.  I also                  
 suggest to you that the government has a compelling interest in               
 protecting the almost born from this cruel, gruesome, and                     
 undignified death.  Accordingly, HB 65 does not run afoul Alaska's            
 right to privacy.                                                             
                                                                               
 "In conclusion, HB 65 will pass constitutional muster."                       
                                                                               
 Number 960                                                                    
                                                                               
 BACHAR BEN'ISRAEL testified via teleconference from Moose Creek in            
 support of HB 65.  She stated that she was confused about when this           
 type of abortion would be conducted in regards to how developed the           
 fetus was.  She said she was appalled to understand that this                 
 procedure was conducted on full term babies after delivery, that              
 the procedure involved the suctioning of brain tissue and stated              
 that this was beyond her imagination.  Unless a mother's life is in           
 danger this procedure should not be allowed and added that it                 
 reminded her of the undesirable during the Nazi Holocaust.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1101                                                                   
                                                                               
 AMY SKILBRED, Alaska Civil Liberties Union, came forward to testify           
 in opposition to HB 65.  She referred to her testimony entitled,              
 "State Interference In Private Medical Decisions."  She noted that            
 some of those present have children and that she has two children.            
 She spoke to a baby's pre-term development by stages and the fact             
 that parents look forward to birthing this child, along with all              
 the anticipation involved, fixing up the nursery, etc.  She asked             
 those present to imagine going in for a routine prenatal visit and            
 finding out that the unborn child they treasure will not live long            
 after it is born, if it will survive this long.  With this tragic             
 news barely understood it is then advised with the mother's                   
 condition, age or medical history that terminating the pregnancy is           
 recommended.  What if then they learn that the medical procedure,             
 with possibly the lowest risk in that mother's specific medical               
 circumstances, is not an option, not an option because it is                  
 against the law.  Imagine how the mother and family will feel at a            
 moment like this, the moment that a law not based on science but on           
 politics prohibits an individual and their doctor from using the              
 best medical procedure under the circumstance.  This moment is a              
 dangerous moment for our democracy.                                           
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED continued that all citizens of this country and state            
 have a constitutional right to privacy.  It is hard to think of               
 privacy more profound than a patient's right to choose his or her             
 course of treatment in a medical emergency.  HB 65 would violate              
 this most fundamental right by replacing a doctor's medical advise            
 and a patient's decision whether or not to follow that advise with            
 politically motivated statutes.  A law substituting religious                 
 beliefs for science, a law penned and promoted by those who would             
 place compassion for a child that cannot live over concern for a              
 mother's health.  Surely those whose compassion lies with the                 
 unborn can understand the suffering a mother feels when she is                
 loosing a child she wanted and loved, or a father for that matter.            
 Compounding this trauma is the fear of imminent danger to a woman's           
 own body.  This is a perilous situation for women, when they are              
 loosing a child that they carry.  This is an excruciating                     
 situation, physically and emotionally.                                        
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED noted that to further complicate this situation with             
 some arbitrary and vague statutory prohibition is simply                      
 unconscionable.  To deny appropriate medical treatment in this                
 situation is a violation of the mother's rights, her rights as an             
 individual, as a patient and as an American.  Our courts have                 
 refused to allow such a profound violation of individual privacy              
 rights.  Neither will this violation of individual rights stand.              
 Indeed, very similar attempts have failed.  Nevertheless, she urged           
 the committee at this point to stop this dangerous interference               
 with medical treatment before it moves one step closer to passage.            
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED offered that one of the things people should consider            
 is if this legislation was to pass and a suit is brought against a            
 doctor for using such a procedure in Alaska she asked what happens            
 to the patient's privacy rights then.  When the state decides to              
 prosecute a treating physician, if laws such as HB 65 allows state            
 prosecution of a doctor performing a medical procedure, the patient           
 and the patient's once confidential, medical record and medical               
 history are destined to become exhibit one.  How else will a court            
 determine if a doctor prosecuted by the state under this bill                 
 before them was performing a procedure that was necessary.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1380                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the baby's head were to slip beyond             
 the cervical control, is the doctor still entitled to drive the               
 scissors into its skull.                                                      
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED stated that she was not a doctor and she thought the             
 way in which the procedure has been publicized any normal person              
 would  think it gruesome.  They are not taking about healthy Gerber           
 Babies who are just about to be delivered that are eight and 1/2              
 months along even if the birth mother did not want it.                        
                                                                               
 Number 1468                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that he thought it had to do with the                   
 mother's health rather than the baby.  He understood the procedure            
 that as long as the baby's head is still cervically preventing it             
 from being born, if in fact "that wasn't that type, for example,              
 I've talked to some people who had their babies on the way to the             
 hospital.  They delivered so quickly that you might not be able to            
 stop the baby's birth even though you've made a breach condition."            
 If the baby is born, this situation has gone beyond the need to               
 help the mother.  He asked what happens once the baby is viable.              
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED responded that these procedures are usually induced.             
 This isn't a situation where someone is on their way to have a                
 baby, but they are in the hands of a physician before the process             
 is induced.  She can't respond to some of these questions in part             
 as opposed to what the sponsor has stated, the bill's wording is              
 vague.  If the process is really D&X's, then it's D&X's, if it's              
 really D&E's, then it's D&E's.  It isn't clear from this bill what            
 the process is.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1526                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that any malpractice case is not a               
 patient's privacy subject to being violated.                                  
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED stated that she believed it could be.                            
                                                                               
 Number 1540                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that in a civil situation, when a             
 patient brings suit against a doctor and puts at issue the                    
 treatment, the doctor/patient confidentiality is breached.  This is           
 a circumstance where essentially the state is prosecuting, the                
 state is charging a doctor.  There is not necessarily collusion               
 between the state and the woman who has had the abortion.  In which           
 case, the doctor wouldn't be entitled, because of confidentiality,            
 to prepare their case.                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED added that the woman may not want to participate in a            
 case like that.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1584                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that in previous testimony it was stated           
 that the exception was to protect the life and the health of the              
 mother.  This law just says life.  He asked in her opinion and the            
 organization she represents, is it constitutional if it doesn't say           
 "or health."                                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED responded that she could provide him with a written              
 response at a later time.  She said that this might address one of            
 the issues, it might not address all the constitutional issues that           
 this bill might have.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1650                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked that if this legislation is intended to                  
 protect the life of the mother, it was his understanding, that                
 breach condition babies are a very high risk birth as compared to             
 the normal, head first birth.  It seemed to him that when a doctor            
 goes in and manipulates the baby from the normal head down position           
 into a feet down position, that doctor is creating a breach                   
 condition which increases the risk of damage, he thought that they            
 were working in the wrong direction, literally.  They are incurring           
 a higher risk by inverting the baby.  It seemed to him that this              
 was not unlike trying to take a Christmas tree out the door the               
 wrong way.  He didn't know how this could be considered in the best           
 interest of the mother.                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED responded that they could either decide that doctors             
 based on their knowledge, training and abilities are not the people           
 who should decide what is in the best interest of their patient,              
 but a legislative body should decide what's in the best interest of           
 a woman or they could decide that doctors who have the information            
 about a woman's condition, her age, her health, her medical                   
 background, are the ones who are best suited to decide what                   
 procedure should be used.  She respectfully suggested that they               
 should leave it to the doctors to decide.  There are numerous law             
 suits against doctors for not doing the right thing, but she didn't           
 think Alaska should legislate what the procedures are that doctors            
 should use.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1700                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if she could think of any other type of                  
 manipulation that would be preferable to invert the baby for                  
 delivery, rather than to try...                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED stated that after having vaginally delivered two                 
 children she said it would be an uncomfortable situation to do                
 anything but the way children should be born.  She didn't know that           
 someone would be better off having a caesarean birth to pull out              
 what might be a viable but soon to die baby.  She thought they                
 should look at the mother as well and to let her, along with her              
 physician make a decision.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1750                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that the reason he asked was that one of his            
 daughters has two children, the first one, a girl, was five and 1/2           
 pounds.  Because she was in a breach position and unable to be                
 turned around, they took the baby caesarean because of the risk of            
 trying to deliver in the wrong direction.  Her physician felt that            
 even a baby nearly half as big in the wrong direction was a higher            
 risk than a caesarean section.  It seemed incongruous to him that             
 a doctor would reverse a normal situation in the interest of                  
 protecting the mother.                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. SKILBRED again stated that she wasn't a physician, but that a             
 doctor in this situation might decide that this is in the best                
 interest of the mother.  She noted that a caesarean section is                
 major surgery.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1847                                                                   
                                                                               
 DR. PETER NAKAMURA, Director, Division of Public Health, Department           
 of Health and Social Services came forward to testify on HB 65.  He           
 stated that the primary problem with the bill is that they're                 
 legislating medical practice, a clinical practice.  They're not               
 deciding here whether an abortion should be done or not done.  He             
 thought that the bill says they're at the point where a                       
 determination is made and an abortion will take place, now what               
 procedure should be used.  This is a decision which should be left            
 between a physician and their patient.  This is not something that            
 should be legislated.  Each situation is different.  He outlined              
 these for the committee.                                                      
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA stated that if an abortion is needed to be performed             
 then there are all types of patients.  There may be a patient who             
 has an underlying medical problem like a heart condition and                  
 perhaps this is the reason an abortion had to take place since the            
 stress of delivery would have been too great.  The patient might              
 have leukemia or another terminal illness.  It would be necessary             
 to abort because of chemotherapy treatments.  Once a decision is              
 made then the doctor needs to decide which is the safest procedure            
 for this child.  The most difficult and complicated procedure is to           
 allow a pregnancy to go to term.  There are a large number of                 
 complications in this instance.  If an abortion is decided upon a             
 procedure needs to be established.  Saline injections have been               
 used to induce labor, but is traumatic on the patient, takes a                
 longer time and has other complications.  He noted these                      
 complications.                                                                
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA noted that another option could be a C-Section but               
 this is major surgery where the patient has to be anesthetized,               
 hospitalized and an operation is performed to remove the fetus.               
 There are other ways an abortion can be induced, such as with                 
 chemicals, or through the use of hormones.  Quite often hormones              
 don't work because in the early stages of pregnancy, the uterus               
 doesn't respond which means that the patient is left in a hospital            
 or in an uncomfortable situation for a longer duration of time                
 until another choice for a procedure is taken.  It takes a large              
 amount of medication to induce labor at this early stage, prior to            
 the viability of the fetus and quite frequently it fails.  The                
 doctor is best able to determine when this viability is.  The                 
 definition under the previous statutes was 150 days.                          
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA addressed the options of either D&X or D&E.  Both of             
 these procedures are somewhat similar in that the doctor dilates              
 the cervix, then the non-viable fetus is extracted.  This is a                
 pretty traumatic procedure.  The D&X procedure is one that was                
 designed to be more physiologically acceptable to many patients               
 because sometimes the mother would still like to hold the fetus.              
 If the fetus doesn't have a genetic abnormality it would still look           
 like a baby.  It was for this purpose that this procedure was                 
 designed.                                                                     
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA paraphrased a statement to respond to which was,                 
 "Partial-birth abortions are cruel and gruesome."  He stated that             
 it's also cruel and gruesome to subject the mother to an additional           
 stress that she doesn't have to be exposed to, such as other                  
 procedures or for instance in the case of a child with significant            
 genetic defects.  If it is known that the fetus will not survive              
 and the mother is required to go to full term and deliver.  This              
 would be pretty cruel and gruesome in itself.  All abortions are              
 kind of gruesome but there's a purpose for them to take place,                
 sometimes it's psychological and sometimes it's physical.                     
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA again referred to an argument against this procedure             
 and stated that if they look at the fact that partial-birth                   
 abortions as inherently disrespectful of the dignity accorded human           
 life, he said he wasn't sure how to respond to that one.  He                  
 thought in this case they're talking about whether an abortion                
 should be done or not be done.  As stated previously, the                     
 comparable procedures can actually be more gruesome than a D&X in             
 itself.  He assumed that the bill relates to D&X because he's heard           
 so often the description of a needle stuck into the back of the               
 brain and the contents aspirated.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 2163                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN again asked if this procedure was ultimately for the           
 protection of the mother.                                                     
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA responded that yes, this procedure was for the                   
 protection of the mother.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2238                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if this could happen in the case of a normal             
 baby.                                                                         
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA noted that this wouldn't be the case if it's going to            
 be called an abortion.  Once the baby is viable this procedure                
 would not be undertaken unless it's to save the life of the mother.           
 He said this decision would be made between the physician and the             
 mother.  He couldn't imagine a situation where this procedure would           
 be used unless it happened to be an instance of a hydro-cephalic              
 infant and to preserve the health and the future ability of this              
 mother to have babies.  Then this procedure might be used.                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted his concern that if this is going to be a                
 demise of the baby to save the mother's life, he asked why the baby           
 would have to be aborted if it's healthy, it sounds like it would             
 still fit this category, but if it does have to be killed, to be              
 killed in this manner, the doctor is saying that unless it's a                
 hydro-cephalic there are other ways that might be more traumatic to           
 the mother.                                                                   
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA stated that if the mother is pregnant and the infant             
 is viable, the only time that this baby would be aborted would be             
 to save the life of the mother or perhaps prevent a significant,              
 serious, harmful affect on her health.                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN added that the first consideration might be whether            
 the baby is viable to save both.'                                             
                                                                               
 Number 2306                                                                   
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA responded yes, he would assume so.  A caesarean could            
 be a choice.  He went on to paraphrase the statement that partial-            
 birth abortion tends to blur the distinction between constitutional           
 persons and non-persons and between infanticide and legal                     
 abortions.  He stated that he didn't know what is meant by this               
 statement. He also quoted, "A partial-birth abortion, because of              
 their gruesome nature and because they incorporate two separate               
 roles of physicians and the role of the healer and the role of the            
 abortion, tend to undermine the public confidence in the medical              
 profession."  He noted that the reason the physicians are doing               
 these abortions is that in the past, prior to the time that they              
 were made legal, they were done by others.  When they were done by            
 others there was a lot of unfortunate outcomes.  He noted a                   
 hospital in Texas that only administered to woman with                        
 complications from illegal abortions.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2412                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked in regards to the distinction between             
 a D&E and a D&X, on the second page of the bill, line 13, he said             
 he didn't have any problem with this language and asked if it would           
 eliminate a D&E.                                                              
                                                                               
 DR. NAKAMURA responded that it would eliminate almost everything.             
 He stated that he had never done an abortion.  He needed to ask               
 other physicians what this language meant.  To them it means that             
 this virtually could eliminate all abortions because there is no              
 way they can assure that a baby will not be delivered, even during            
 a suction aspiration of a fetus and not be alive.  In reality it              
 could eliminate all abortions.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated that he'd like to get more to the point           
 of these procedures being done either pre-viable or viable for a              
 malformed baby or to protect the life of a healthy mother, but he             
 stated that if they would have the doctor return, these questions             
 could wait.                                                                   
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-33, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 DEBRA JOSLIN, Chair, District 35, Republican Party of Alaska,                 
 testified next via teleconference from Delta Junction.  She shared            
 a story of a woman who gave birth to a child with multiple                    
 impairments.  After many surgeries this child is alive and well,              
 lives in Alaska and is a joy to his mother.  If this woman was                
 asked if this child should not have lived, the answer would have              
 been no.  When this child was born there was no such thing as                 
 legalized abortion, or partial-birth abortions.  If there had been            
 that option, if the doctors has presented this option, the woman              
 might have consented to this procedure.                                       
                                                                               
 MS. JOSLIN referred to an article in the "Wall Street Journal,"               
 titled, "Partial-Birth Abortion is Bad Medicine," written by                  
 several obstetric-gynecologists.  This article contains some of the           
 truths about partial-birth abortions.  She said she would send this           
 article to the committee.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0043                                                                   
                                                                               
 BARBARA RAWALT, Financial Chair, District 35, Republican Party of             
 Alaska, testified next via teleconference from Delta Junction.  She           
 added that she was also testifying as a parent and as a                       
 grandparent.  She urged passage of HB 65.  She referred to                    
 testimony by Mr. Fitzsimmons, the oft quoted pro-choice spokesman,            
 who supported both the variety and the necessity of this procedure            
 and recently admitted that his previous statements were a lie.  He            
 admitted that this procedure is not rare, it affects not just a few           
 hundred woman as previously stated, but 300,000 to 500,000 women              
 per year in the United States who have this procedure done.  As to            
 the necessity, he stated that this procedure was not limited to               
 hopelessly deformed babies as was previously stated, but that most            
 of these procedures were performed on an elective basis, on healthy           
 babies.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. RAWALT urged the committee to vote yes on HB 65 in order to               
 stop this barbarous procedure.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 0191                                                                   
                                                                               
 SHARYLEE ZACHARY announced that she had submitted written testimony           
 to the committee.  She referred to Section 1, (6) and (7), which              
 states how this procedure undermines the public confidence in the             
 medical profession.  She believed that a majority of medical                  
 physicians and health care providers are honest, upright and have             
 the sincere desire to help and heal people.  However, the medical             
 profession has "cut it's own throat" in the area of "credibility."            
 It has allowed many physicians to perform unjustified abortions and           
 then look the other way when those same doctors falsify the                   
 patient's records with statements about it being a medical                    
 necessity, when in fact the abortion was done as an elective                  
 procedure.  In other words this is a pre-arranged convenience for             
 the mother and a financial benefit for the doctor and/or the                  
 clinic.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. ZACHARY said, in the last year or two, several medical                    
 professionals have given national testimony that there are just a             
 few cases of partial-birth abortions which have been done to save             
 the lives of the mother.  The media has gone overboard in                     
 emphasizing that testimony and unfortunately many people have                 
 believed those doctors.  The media and certain politicians have               
 also largely ignored those people providing testimony regarding the           
 thousands of unnecessary partial-birth abortions.                             
                                                                               
 MS. ZACHARY said, in the past few weeks, a prominent physician has            
 brought forth testimony that he lied.  She questioned how we could            
 trust doctors and other health care professionals, who know this to           
 be true and yet keep quiet.  If this is their ethic, in this area,            
 what is to keep them from falsifying other areas of medical care              
 for the sake of convenience and financial gain.                               
                                                                               
 Number 0289                                                                   
                                                                               
 KATHLEEN HOFFMAN testified next via teleconference from Kenai.  She           
 appreciated all the work the committee had done on HB 65 as we                
 surely want to rid our state of this partial-birth abortion.  She             
 referred to an infant that she worked with when she was in nurse's            
 training.  She is in favor of HB 65.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0358                                                                   
                                                                               
 VIRGINIA PHILLIPS, testified as a Spokesperson for American Indians           
 and Alaska Natives, National Right to Life.  She stated that she is           
 the Chair, District 2, Republican Party of Alaska testified next              
 via teleconference from Sitka.  She was appalled what this                    
 procedure did to the woman.  It is ridiculous to say that it is               
 necessary for the life or health of the mother, there are other               
 easier things to do to get rid of the baby.  This procedure needs             
 to be outlawed.  If people attempted to do this procedure on a rat,           
 animal rights activists would say it was inhumane.  She asked for             
 humane treatment of women and to stop them from being victimized by           
 the partial-birth abortion.                                                   
                                                                               
 TERESA LUNDY, Medical Transcriptionist, testified next via                    
 teleconference from Sitka.  She is speaking for the (Indisc.)                 
 community in Sitka because a lot of people couldn't attend the                
 meeting today.  She questioned the ability of people from the                 
 medical community to defend and endorse this abortion procedure.              
 She referred to earlier testimony on the D & X procedure and                  
 testimony that the D & E procedure had to do with taking the non-             
 viable infant and aborting the child.  She reminded the witness               
 that he is misinformed; the D & E procedure is a gruesome                     
 dismemberment type of abortion procedure.  After a period of time             
 the baby tissue becomes toughened as the baby develops.  She                  
 referred to written testimony on the D & X extraction method by Dr.           
 Martin Haskell.  The doctor invented this D & X procedure because             
 it was an alternative to dismemberment.                                       
                                                                               
 MS. LUNDY asked the committee to endorse HB 65.  It is imperative             
 that the Alaska Legislature set the standard to not allow this                
 abortion procedure in this state.  She was concerned that there was           
 no ethical concern regarding abortion.  Eliminating partial-birth             
 abortions does not interfere with reproductive rights or right to             
 privacy concerns.  She urged the committee to see that ethical                
 standards were set in stone by passing HB 65.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0358                                                                   
                                                                               
 SALLY APOXIDAK testified next via teleconference from MatSu.  She             
 was appalled about today's testimony.  She asked the committee to             
 look at the bigger picture in terms of abortion.  She was in favor            
 of the contents of HB 65.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0612                                                                   
                                                                               
 ART HIPPLER, Executive Director, Alaska Right to Life, testified              
 next via teleconference from MatSu.  He referred to the testimony             
 given by Mr. Dozier.  His organization supports HB 65.  He offered            
 $500, out of his pocket, to the first person who provides                     
 unambiguous evidence of one single case where this procedure was              
 medically necessary to save the life or the fertility of the                  
 mother.                                                                       
                                                                               
 ERNIE LINE testified next via teleconference from MatSu.  He said             
 there have been no partial-birth abortion procedures performed in             
 Alaska, according to Mr. Dozier.  He assumed that the committee               
 knew how many doctors in Alaska were qualified to perform this                
 procedure.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said he did not know.  When he asked if this                   
 information was known by other members of the committee or                    
 witnesses, no one answered.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. LINE completely agreed with the doctor who testified that                 
 legislators should not practice medicine.  He asked the committee,            
 before they pass HB 65 or SB 12, to consider the women who might              
 need to abort these fetal anomalies or else to provide for them               
 when they are infant anomalies.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0769                                                                   
                                                                               
 NIKKI SULLIVAN said she done post abortion counseling and provided            
 education for women who have been through the abortion experience.            
 She has had national training in Denver at the Post Abortion                  
 Counseling and Education Institute.  She referred to testimony                
 about the protection of the mother and the viability of the baby.             
 These women suffer the same degree of trauma after the abortion as            
 they experience during the abortion.  She could not think of                  
 anything more traumatic than a partial-birth abortion.  She is a              
 proponent of informed consent, every woman has the right to know              
 what is going on with her body and what an abortion consists of.              
                                                                               
 Number 0884                                                                   
                                                                               
 KRISTIN HOCK informed the committee that she was eight and half               
 months pregnant.  She was not planning to terminate this pregnancy,           
 but if she chose to, then she would have a legal right to do so in            
 some states.  If we propose partial-birth abortions for convicts,             
 who are on death row, there would be an outcry saying it was cruel            
 and inhumane treatment, it did not respect people and their                   
 dignity.  She referred to the U.S. Constitution and urged the                 
 committee to value the right of protection of life and liberty by             
 banning partial-birth abortions.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1009                                                                   
                                                                               
 TRICIA BONNEY, Nurse, said the whole purpose for partial-birth                
 abortions is for the mother's health.  She said the argument,                 
 regarding infant anomalies, is not viable in opposing HB 65.  She             
 said this procedure is not taught in medical schools, and                     
 questioned how it could be considered a necessary medical                     
 procedure.  She felt this procedure was inhumane and referred to              
 previous testimony against partial-birth abortions.  She urged the            
 committee to support HB 65.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1149                                                                   
                                                                               
 TOM GORDY agreed with the testimony given by Mr. Dozier and said              
 more facts have come out this week about partial-birth abortions.             
 People who support abortion will lie to keep things going.  He was            
 here to speak against this procedure; called partial-birth                    
 abortions by Congress or D & X, short for dilation and extractions,           
 others have called it D & E, but medical literature does not have             
 a name for it because it is not a recognized legitimate medical               
 procedure.  He said there are probably no doctors qualified to do             
 this procedure as it is not a licensed procedure.                             
                                                                               
 MR. GORDY said he would like to call it partial-birth infanticide.            
 He referred to a nurse who worked for Dr. Haskell, the doctor who             
 invented this procedure and her experience of watching this                   
 procedure.  This woman had originally supported abortion, but has             
 changed her stance since seeing this procedure.  This procedure is            
 the murdering of a defenseless baby.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. GORDY referred to a woman who had complications in her                    
 pregnancy in the sixth month, which is the time when Dr. Haskell              
 says he performs most of these procedures.  Labor was induced, the            
 baby was treated in the neo-natal unit of the hospital and is alive           
 today.  He said a mother's life does not need to be threatened, the           
 baby can be pulled out and survive outside of the mother through              
 care and nurturing.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. GORDY testified that 300 physicians, primarily obstetricians,             
 united to oppose this procedure after President Clinton opposed the           
 partial-birth abortion ban.  They declared that it is never                   
 medically necessary.  Dr. Haskell said that 80 percent of partial-            
 birth abortions are elective.  Dr. McMann, who has performed 2,000            
 partial-birth abortions, said 22 percent of the partial-birth                 
 abortions that he has performed for maternal indications were for             
 depression, not for physical threats.                                         
                                                                               
 MR. GORDY stated that this procedure is morally and ethically                 
 wrong.  It is time to say, no, to this type of cruel procedure.  He           
 urged the committee to pass HB 65.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1475                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAVE ROGERS, Lobbyist, Alaska Woman's Lobby, said his organization            
 opposes HB 65.  They acknowledged that information and beliefs on             
 this subject are contradictory, but wanted to present information             
 to the committee.  Partial-birth abortion is not a medical term,              
 the procedure that is being addressed in HB 65 is call dilation and           
 extraction of D & X, or sometimes called intact dilation and                  
 extraction.  This procedure is used in the second and third                   
 trimesters.  Doctors, who they have talked to, have said they have            
 rarely met a patient who did not want, and was not completely                 
 bonded to their baby by the third trimester, nor have they known a            
 health care provider who was not equally concerned about the health           
 of the baby in the third trimester.  This procedure is not a                  
 procedure to be undertaken lightly.  Many involve wanted                      
 pregnancies that go tragically wrong when a woman's life or                   
 physical health is endangered and the fetus develops abnormalities            
 which will cause them to die just before, during or just after                
 life.  Finally, this procedure is the safest available for some               
 women.  It carries lower risks of pervading the uterus, lacerating            
 the cervix and the birth canal or causing maternal hemorrhage than            
 certain alternative procedures.  They were also told that D & X is            
 less physically stressful and less toxic than other methods.                  
                                                                               
 MR. ROGERS said, if these findings are valid, this proper medical             
 procedure, which may be the safest and most appropriate choice                
 among several techniques in some cases, should not be the subject             
 of a restrictive law which will take away from the physician's                
 exercise of discretion and unduly burden a woman's right to chose,            
 by arbitrarily and narrowly limiting her access to the procedures             
 her doctors consider best for her.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. ROGERS said, as is always the case in this arena, professional            
 judgement and individual consideration must govern actions taken              
 over the broad and complex spectrum of medical possibilities.                 
 Families and their physicians must be permitted to make the                   
 difficult decisions posed by the situation.  He said HB 65 is                 
 unnecessary, can hurt Alaskan women and only serves to further                
 polarize concerned Alaskans.  For these reasons the Alaskan Women's           
 Lobby strongly opposes HB 65.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1661                                                                   
                                                                               
 SID HEIDERSDORF suggested that the baby is turned around, to be               
 delivered feet first, so that it will not scream before the                   
 procedure is completed.  He referred to Mr. Fitzsimmons and a New             
 York Times article which quoted him as saying that he lied, because           
 telling the truth would damage the abortion rights cause.  He felt            
 Mr. Fitzsimmons told the truth because he realized he was defending           
 the indefensible.  He felt that people who are supporting partial-            
 birth abortions were defending it because if you face the truth it            
 will somehow collapse the abortion edifice.  Abortion is supported            
 by the Supreme Court decision and there is little that the state              
 could do.  This is a step the state could take to acknowledge that            
 there is some kind of justifiable restrictions which could be                 
 placed on certain abortion procedures.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. HEIDERSDORF asked the committee not to be influenced by                   
 arguments that the state should stay out of medical practice.  He             
 reminded the committee of the practices of doctors in Nazi Germany            
 and said there are certain things that should be outlawed.  In                
 every profession there are certain amount of people that operate on           
 the fringes; they must be controlled and guided by state laws.  He            
 did not care how many of these things were done and what they are             
 done for.  This procedure must simply not be allowed. If we want to           
 maintain some type of claim to be civilized, we have to take some             
 steps to control things that are happening which should clearly be            
 condemned.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1917                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ referred to the analogy and felt it was an           
 unfair comparison to make and was outside the bounds of this                  
 discussion.  There is common ground, there should be debate about             
 issues like this, but when you invoke issues that are hateful as              
 that one, you destroy the possibility of dialogue.                            
                                                                               
 MR. HEIDERSDORF used this point to attempt to show that within his            
 lifetime, he has seen this situation occur in a civilized society             
 where we say this should have been stopped.  Because people                   
 testified that the state should stay out of medical practice, he              
 felt it was a legitimate thing to show his point of view that there           
 are certain procedures that should be stopped.                                
                                                                               
 Number 2098                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN closed public testimony.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said, it would be helpful in his                        
 understanding of this bill, if someone could explain the difference           
 between a D & C, a D & E and a D & X.  He referred to Section 2(c)            
 and said he thought it described what he thought was a partial-               
 birth abortion.  If this was done with the intent to expose a                 
 portion of a live fetus outside the body of the mother and then               
 terminate it, he thought it would eliminate the things that Dr.               
 Nakamura was referring to.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if it was the intention to have this               
 bill apply to pre-viable fetuses.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT answered, yes.  He felt this was clear in the             
 opening statement.  He added that some of the discussion handled by           
 Dr. Nakamura was premature in addressing certain issues.                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said he wanted to make some comments on today's           
 testimony and would try to respond to Representative Porter's                 
 concerns.  Clearly, an abundance of information has been presented            
 regarding this particular practice, whether it is used in the state           
 or not.  He had no evidence to show that it would be done in this             
 state, this bill is a preventative measure.  The definition of the            
 procedure in Section 2(c) was extracted from the Congressional                
 version of a similar bill.  This definition is not something that             
 he created, it is not a novel idea.  This language was formed by a            
 number of scholarly individuals in the medical community as well as           
 the legal profession.  He felt this definition was extremely clear            
 about what it is that we are attempting to prohibit.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referred to letters from Dr. Thompson and Dr.             
 Ritter (Ph.) who are premier experts in the field of obstetrics.              
 These doctors have not performed any abortions.  He expressed                 
 concern with Dr. Nakamura's testimony as he has not..."                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-34, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT continued...he said it was just brought to his            
 attention that the committee did not have Dr. Thompson's letter,              
 but Dr. Lokiemp's (Ph.) and Dr. Ritter's (Ph.) letter, two premier            
 experts in the field.  He would also provide a letter from Dr.                
 Riederer, a Juneau practitioner.  All three of them have concluded            
 that there are other procedures as safe as this particular measure.           
 It alarms him when testimony commences with, "I spoke with an                 
 abortionist, a medical doctor."  It gives more credence to the                
 situation when you have actual testimony, in the written form or in           
 person, where the person who articulates their own experience.  He            
 questioned those sources, the qualifications of the person who                
 testifies.  He referred to the question of whether the state should           
 invoke legislative authority on how the medical community practices           
 by saying it has been done in the past.  In some circumstances, the           
 best solution to a medical problem would be for the doctor to                 
 assist in a suicide that is not condoned in the state.  So, we are,           
 in fact, evoking some practices and eliminating others in the                 
 state.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0227                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said if you get ten doctors in the room and how you            
 might get ten different opinions.  He asked why there was such a              
 disparity in opinion.  Some say this procedure is absolutely                  
 necessary to protect the life of the mother, others say there are             
 other ways.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT answered that it is a perplexing problem and he           
 would want to turn to the experts in the field.  There is a                   
 substantial amount of literature by people who have performed this            
 procedure and have in many cases testified, under oath.  He assumed           
 they were telling the truth, he gave them the benefit of the doubt.           
 He thought in those types of cases, you have to turn to the experts           
 for the truth.  There is an abundance of information that suggests            
 that this particular procedure is not the only procedure that is              
 available to save the life of the mother.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0444                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN referred to testimony that this procedure was done             
 to save the life of the mother or because of severe abnormalities             
 and then there was testimony saying that 80 percent of these would            
 live normal, happy lives if they lived.  He asked who wasn't                  
 telling the truth.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said you have testimony from one side that has            
 hands-on experience and the other side from a group which most of             
 the experience comes from a second party or from reading the                  
 literature.  He said the committee would have to draw their own               
 conclusions why there is this wide disparity between what is being            
 said.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT expressed curiosity of why HB 65 does not                
 allow the procedure to be performed to protect the health of the              
 mother.  He referred to the sponsor's statement that he was more              
 comfortable with written testimony and pointed out a letter from              
 Sherrie Richey, the first and only Alaskan perinatologist.                    
 Perinatology is a specialty in maternal fetal medicine.  She says             
 that partial-birth abortion is a procedure virtually always chosen            
 because it is the safest way to terminate a pregnancy complicated             
 by lethal fetal abnormality or a life threatening maternal                    
 complication.  He did not mean to get into a debate, but we have              
 conflicting medical evidence about whether this is the safest                 
 procedure for the health of the mother.  He asked what the                    
 difficulty was with allowing the expert, the person treating that             
 woman, to determine if this is required to protect her health.  For           
 the legislature to make a determination outlawing it and not                  
 allowing an exception for the health is our, not completely                   
 informed, decision that it can never be the best method to protect            
 the health.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0640                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said that when you get into the definition of             
 what constitutes protecting the health of the mother, you discover,           
 at least in the literature that he has researched, that it opens up           
 a pandora's box.  About anything you can conceive as being                    
 unhealthy, can be used to protect the mother's health.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT clarified that he is concerned that the health           
 issue would be chosen to allow for an elective procedure.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT felt that, in many cases, it would be the case.           
 He reminded the committee that the American Medical Association's             
 legislative council voted unanimously to ban this particular                  
 procedure.  He stated that he is not the expert, he is turning to             
 the experts.  The association is a group of qualified people who              
 make various decisions and express them.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said, in order for this legislation to go out            
 without any proviso for the health of the mother, he had to be                
 absolutely convinced that this is never a procedure that could best           
 protect the mother's health.  If it could be the best procedure,              
 then we ought to allow it to be.  When there is conflicting                   
 testimony, he would leave it to those people to determine what is             
 best.                                                                         
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN GREEN                    
 adjourned the meeting of the House Judiciary Standing Committee at            
 4:30 p.m.                                                                     
                                                                               

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