Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 120

02/28/2008 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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Audio Topic
01:19:31 PM Start
01:21:12 PM HB364
03:21:58 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Day Change --
+ HB 364 NOTICE & CONSENT FOR MINOR'S ABORTION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 237 REMOVING A REGENT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 28, 2008                                                                                        
                           1:19 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jay Ramras, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Vice Chair                                                                                      
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 364                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to notice  and consent for a  minor's abortion;                                                               
relating to penalties  for performing an abortion;  relating to a                                                               
judicial bypass  procedure for an abortion;  relating to coercion                                                               
of  a  minor  to  have  an abortion;  relating  to  reporting  of                                                               
abortions performed on minors; amending  Rule 24(a), Alaska Rules                                                               
of Civil Procedure, amending Rule  220, Alaska Rules of Appellate                                                               
Procedure,  and  Rule  20,  Alaska  Probate  Rules,  relating  to                                                               
judicial bypass for  an abortion; and providing  for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 237                                                                                                              
"An Act  authorizing the governor  to remove or suspend  a member                                                               
of the  Board of  Regents of  the University  of Alaska  for good                                                               
cause; establishing a procedure for  the removal or suspension of                                                               
a regent; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 364                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NOTICE & CONSENT FOR MINOR'S ABORTION                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) COGHILL                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/13/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/08       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/14/08       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/14/08       (H)       <Above Item Removed from Agenda>                                                                       
02/28/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CLOVER SIMON, MSW, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)                                                                                
Planned Parenthood of Alaska (PPA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364, and                                                                   
responded to questions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY GOODNIGHT, Public Affairs Manager                                                                                      
Planned Parenthood of Alaska (PPA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364, and                                                                   
responded to questions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MANDY O'NEAL COLE                                                                                                               
Douglas, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided comments during discussion of                                                                   
HB 364.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DEBBIE JOSLIN, President                                                                                                        
Eagle Forum Alaska                                                                                                              
Delta Junction, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 364.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROCKY PLOTNICK                                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided comments during discussion of                                                                   
HB 364.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MAKO HAGGERTY                                                                                                                   
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JIM MINNERY, President                                                                                                          
Alaska Family Council                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 364.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE E. BAMBERGER                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DAVID BRONSON, Treasurer                                                                                                        
Alaska Family Council                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 364.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
AMY CHRISTIANSEN, R.N.                                                                                                          
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REV ORION                                                                                                                       
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOELLE HALL                                                                                                                     
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ANN LINDSLEY                                                                                                                    
Haines, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 364.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAY  RAMRAS called the  House Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order  at 1:19:31 PM.   Representatives Samuels, Lynn,                                                             
Holmes, Gruenberg,  Dahlstrom, Coghill,  and Ramras  were present                                                               
at  the  call  to  order.    Representative  Gatto  was  also  in                                                               
attendance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 364 - NOTICE & CONSENT FOR MINOR'S ABORTION                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:21:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 364, "An Act  relating to notice and consent for a                                                               
minor's  abortion;  relating  to   penalties  for  performing  an                                                               
abortion;  relating  to  a  judicial   bypass  procedure  for  an                                                               
abortion; relating  to coercion of  a minor to have  an abortion;                                                               
relating to reporting of abortions  performed on minors; amending                                                               
Rule 24(a), Alaska  Rules of Civil Procedure,  amending Rule 220,                                                               
Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure,  and Rule 20, Alaska Probate                                                               
Rules,  relating   to  judicial  bypass  for   an  abortion;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
[Following  was a  brief discussion  regarding how  the committee                                                               
would be proceeding.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS noted  that there  are times  when the  legislative                                                               
branch  of  government  disagrees  with the  judicial  branch  of                                                               
government, and  expressed his hope  that when HB 364  moves from                                                               
committee it will be narrowly crafted.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:27:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL,  speaking  as  the sponsor  of  HB  364,                                                               
relayed that the legislature, back  in 1996, passed "the parental                                                               
consent law,"  which was brought  to court  in 1997.   He offered                                                               
his understanding that  that law said that parents  "have a right                                                               
to  be involved  in the  ... consent  of those  minor's who  find                                                               
[themselves] pregnant and  could get an abortion."   He indicated                                                               
that the  [U.S. Supreme Court],  in a case occurring  around that                                                               
time, acknowledged that if a  minor has "bad-acting parents," one                                                               
can't simply  tell that  minor, "Go  to your  parents."   He then                                                               
mentioned a  procedure known  as "judicial bypass."   He  said he                                                               
disagrees with the Alaska Supreme  Court's 2007 decision in State                                                             
v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska  that [the aforementioned law] is                                                             
unconstitutional  [under the  Alaska State  Constitution's right-                                                               
of-privacy provision],  and agrees  with the  dissenting opinion.                                                               
He quoted the  following from that dissenting opinion:   "In sum,                                                               
the norm in  American, and Alaskan, life and law  is that parents                                                               
are a  child's first and  most important resource  for assistance                                                               
in decision-making."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  offered  his  belief  that  the  court's                                                               
ruling in Planned  Parenthood of Alaska forbids  parents "to have                                                             
consent given when  their minor daughter is found  pregnant - ...                                                               
they  are forbidden  by the  constitution to  give consent  or be                                                               
aware and  be involved  in that  discussion."   He said  he finds                                                               
that   to   be   so   unconscionable  that   he'd   developed   a                                                               
constitutional  amendment "to  just  overturn  the whole  thing."                                                               
However, something  must still be  done to address  situations in                                                               
which a  minor child  has "bad-acting parents"  and in  which the                                                               
minor is almost an adult.   He pointed out that "whether it's for                                                               
marriage,  driver's license,  tattoos,  piercings,  we still  are                                                               
requiring consent by  the parent" because it  has been recognized                                                               
by [the court] that parents have that right.  He said:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Having said that,  how to respond to a  court that gave                                                                    
     some ... reasoning, if you  will, that the State didn't                                                                    
     show  a compelling-enough  interest to  be involved  --                                                                    
     they found  that there was not  enough state-compelling                                                                    
     interest that  the parent had  some right to  choice in                                                                    
     this matter, or right to ... consent."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  opined  that the  legislature  needs  to                                                               
"rise  to  the  challenge"  of  the Alaska  Supreme  Court.    He                                                               
predicted that  members will hear  debate regarding "how  this is                                                               
unconstitutional,"   adding  that   he   would   say  that   "the                                                               
constitution  that  they're using  was  stretched  beyond what  I                                                               
think is good  limits with the decision that came  down over this                                                               
parental consent issue."  He went on to say:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     However, I  was willing to  take some of  their counsel                                                                    
     and  begin to  talk  about when  a child  can  go to  a                                                                    
     doctor  and get  the necessary  judgment, if  you will,                                                                    
     that the abortion is necessary,  and even to a relative                                                                    
     that is  responsible, or to  a parent or guardian  or a                                                                    
     state agency, and  make that appeal - and  if they feel                                                                    
     they're still being held back,  that they get to appeal                                                                    
     to a court.   And knowing full well ...  that there are                                                                    
     many advocates  out there,  in the  "planned parenthood                                                                    
     area," or  like organizations,  I should say,  who will                                                                    
     take a  youngster and  take them by  the hand  and lead                                                                    
     them  either  through  the  court  or  to  an  abortion                                                                    
     clinic, ... all without the  knowledge of the parent or                                                                    
     the consent of the parent.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL continued:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     And so, to  me, if you have a  bad-acting parent, there                                                                    
     might be avenues and reasons to  do that.  But when you                                                                    
     have a  responsible parent, to  say they have  no right                                                                    
     to  know is  just too  egregious for  me --  and nor  a                                                                    
     right to  consent.   So in this  bill we'll  talk about                                                                    
     notice  and consent  in several  places. ...  Also ...,                                                                    
     outside of what  we had previously in  law, we're going                                                                    
     to  now  allow  a  doctor  to,  ...  by  their  medical                                                                    
     judgment,  certify  that  this  youngster,  for  health                                                                    
     reasons,  can go  ahead and  get that  abortion.   [In]                                                                    
     many  places in  this bill,  I'm making  concessions to                                                                    
     say this could,  in the realm of  possibility, be; even                                                                    
     though I so disagree with  abortion, I still think that                                                                    
     the  choice  that they  have  given  to that  youngster                                                                    
     should be preserved, but there  needs to be responsible                                                                    
       people along the way.  And when parents are acting                                                                       
       responsibly, to forbid them in that discussion or                                                                        
     consent is just unconscionable to me.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  noted  that [in  Planned  Parenthood  of                                                             
Alaska,  the  court  recognized the  State's  assertion  that]  a                                                             
parental   consent  law   works  to   advance  two   interrelated                                                               
interests:    protecting minors  from  their  own immaturity  and                                                               
aiding  parents in  fulfilling  their parental  responsibilities.                                                               
He  went  on  to  explain   that  HB  364  contains  a  provision                                                               
prohibiting parents  from coercing  a pregnant  minor to  have an                                                               
abortion.    He  said  he   understands  the  difference  between                                                               
responsible  parents and  irresponsible parents,  and understands                                                               
that youngsters are  progressing in their levels  of maturity and                                                               
responsibility, but  thinks it is  wrong to allow minors  to make                                                               
their  own  decision about  whether  to  have  an abortion.    He                                                               
offered his belief  that Alaska's "existing law  fits well within                                                               
the realm  of a  judicial bypass and  exceptions for  students or                                                               
youngsters - minors."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL opined that  the Alaska Supreme Court went                                                               
beyond the U.S.  Supreme court and "took the  parents totally out                                                               
of the equation,"  but that HB 364 provides a  way to get parents                                                               
involved,  gives them  choices,  and makes  them accountable  for                                                               
their choices.  Noting that  he'd just received a memorandum from                                                               
Legislative Legal and Research Services  dated February 27, 2008,                                                               
he  remarked   that  he  sometimes  disagrees   with  legislative                                                               
counsel.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[Following  was a  brief discussion  regarding how  the committee                                                               
would be proceeding.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:42:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLOVER  SIMON,  MSW,  Chief   Executive  Officer  (CEO),  Planned                                                               
Parenthood  of  Alaska   (PPA),  after  noting  that   she  is  a                                                               
"master's-level  social worker"  and  has worked  with "youth  at                                                               
risk"  for  five years  before  accepting  her current  position,                                                               
relayed that  she would be testifying  against HB 364.   She said                                                               
she has  several concerns about  the bill, and surmised  that the                                                               
bottom  line is  that everyone  agrees  that parents  need to  be                                                               
talking to  their teenagers about  "these important  decisions" -                                                               
not only about  the consequences of an  unplanned pregnancy, but,                                                               
more importantly,  also about  how to  prevent that  pregnancy to                                                               
begin with.   She added:  I don't know  that it's necessarily our                                                               
job to tell  parents how to do  that, or force them to  do it, or                                                               
make them do  it."  She indicated that her  testimony would cover                                                               
two topics:   one, the problems she sees with  HB 364 in general;                                                               
and  two, some  possible  solutions for  coming  to an  agreement                                                               
about ensuring  that parents are  involved with  their teenagers'                                                               
decisions, and  some of what's been  seen at PPA in  terms of the                                                               
reality of parental involvement.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON, with  regard to the first topic,  characterized HB 364                                                               
as one  of the  harshest parental consent  bills in  the country;                                                               
the bill  combines two separate  burdens - notice, and  consent -                                                               
but is  a little  unclear with  regard to  how those  two aspects                                                               
will  work together,  and so  it would  be helpful  to have  some                                                               
clarification on  [that point].   She said  she believes  that HB                                                               
364  is unconstitutional,  based  on the  Alaska Supreme  Court's                                                               
decision  in Planned  Parenthood of  Alaska, but  does understand                                                             
that the sponsor disagrees with that  point.  House Bill 364 also                                                               
creates a  system of  notification with  the physician  being the                                                               
sole person responsible  for that notification, and  yet it's not                                                               
very  feasible  to  expect  that of  someone  running  a  medical                                                               
clinic.  "We pay  our physicians a lot of money,  and it isn't to                                                               
spend  time  calling  parents repeatedly  trying  to  track  them                                                               
down,"  she  added;  therefore,  it would  be  [better  to  allow                                                               
either]  the  physician  or  someone   he/she  designates  to  be                                                               
responsible  for making  those notification  calls, because  it's                                                               
really  important for  physicians  to be  able  to provide  good,                                                               
quality  medical care  and yet  the  bill's current  notification                                                               
provision will  get in  the way  of physicians  being able  to do                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON  next noted  that HB  364 doesn't  have a  mechanism in                                                               
place  to  guarantee the  minor's  confidentiality  while she  is                                                               
going  through the  judicial bypass  process.   Many states  have                                                               
included  in their  parental consent  laws  provisions to  ensure                                                               
that  the  minor's records  will  be  destroyed after  a  certain                                                               
period of  time, or provisions to  protect the minor as  she goes                                                               
through  the judicial  bypass  process.   Neither  does the  bill                                                               
indicate  that a  minor  will  be assigned  a  guardian ad  litem                                                               
(GAL), or anyone else, to  walk her through the [judicial bypass]                                                               
process,  which  can  be  very  complicated;  furthermore,  rural                                                               
Alaska  can  present special  circumstances  in  that a  pregnant                                                               
minor living  in rural Alaska  would have  to travel to  an urban                                                               
area  to go  through  the  process, and  so  it  is important  to                                                               
include  some  safeguards   for  those  girls.     She  said  she                                                               
appreciates  that  the  bill  includes  a  provision  allowing  a                                                               
pregnant  minor  to get  an  excuse  from school;  however,  that                                                               
provision doesn't in any way  protect the minor's confidentiality                                                               
from anyone working  at the school, including  other students who                                                               
might be  working in the  school's office.  Therefore  that issue                                                               
should be looked at as well.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:45:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON  opined that  in general,  HB 364  serves to  delay the                                                               
process  for a  young person  who's chosen  to have  an abortion.                                                               
Teenagers are  less likely to seek  medical care in a  rapid way,                                                               
and so  this added delay could  serve to increase the  numbers of                                                               
second trimester  abortions being performed on  young people, and                                                               
that isn't  something which anybody wants.   Furthermore, because                                                               
a  second  trimester  abortion  is not  allowed  as  an  elective                                                               
procedure in  Alaska, more minors  will have  to be flown  out of                                                               
state  to  undergo   that  procedure.    Also   of  concern,  she                                                               
indicated, is  the bill's provision requiring  documentation from                                                               
the  adult  proving his/her  relationship  with  the minor;  this                                                               
provision is onerous and will  further delay the minor in getting                                                               
necessary health care.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON pointed  out that most medical  providers don't support                                                               
parental  consent;  this  information  comes  from  the  American                                                               
Academy   of   Pediatrics   (AAP),  the   American   College   of                                                               
Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG),  and the American Medical                                                               
Association (AMA).   She offered  to provide members  with direct                                                               
quotes from  those organizations  on this  issue.   The important                                                               
point, she  went on to  say, is that the  focus should be  on the                                                               
prevention   of  unplanned   pregnancies  rather   than  on   the                                                               
consequences  of those  unplanned  pregnancies.   Strides  should                                                               
also  be made  to provide  young  people and  their parents  with                                                               
access  to  necessary  information,  both  so  that  parents  can                                                               
educate their children and so  that teenagers have the tools they                                                               
need  to  make  really  healthy  decisions  -  whether  they  are                                                               
choosing to abstain from sexual  activity or, when they do become                                                               
sexually  active,  to  have  the   means  and  tools  to  prevent                                                               
unplanned pregnancy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON remarked  that the bottom line is that  HB 364 will not                                                               
help parents talk to their  teenagers; legislating it isn't going                                                               
to increase  parental communication.   And so although  she fully                                                               
agrees that parents  are the first and  foremost important people                                                               
to  decide on  what happens  with their  children, she  remarked,                                                               
this is not the proper legislation  to achieve that goal.  In all                                                               
reality, she  pointed out, when PPA  does see young women  in its                                                               
clinics seeking abortion services, they  are coming in with their                                                               
parents.  She elaborated:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     If you  average out  the data for  the last  two years,                                                                    
     and  even  since  2004,  when  Planned  Parenthood  [of                                                                    
     Alaska] began  providing abortion services,  we average                                                                    
     about two  young women a  year who  do not come  with a                                                                    
     parent.  The  time that we see the most  parents in our                                                                    
     clinic is  on the  day that we're  providing abortions,                                                                    
     and that's really  unfortunate.  I would  wish that ...                                                                    
     the parents  would be  coming with  their teens  to get                                                                    
     the birth control in the first place.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMON, in  response  to questions,  said  that PPA  provides                                                               
abortions in  two of the clinics  that it operates; one  of those                                                               
clinics  is in  Anchorage and  the other  is in  Fairbanks.   She                                                               
added  that   PPA  provided  services  to   2,000  teenagers  for                                                               
pregnancy  prevention  and  family  planning  at  both  of  those                                                               
clinics as well.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS relayed that Ms.  Simon had indicated earlier to him                                                               
that "this" affects two teenagers per year.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMON pointed  out that  those are  just numbers  from PPA's                                                               
clinics, that PPA  is not the only provider  of abortion services                                                               
in Alaska, and that not every provider keeps such data.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  that regardless  that PPA  has only                                                               
[had  an average  of] two  minors  per year  getting an  abortion                                                               
without parental  involvement, "this"  affects every parent  of a                                                               
minor child in Alaska.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMON concurred,  but pointed  out that  what PPA  sees more                                                               
often in its  clinics are parents bringing their  teenager in for                                                               
abortion services,  but then  once the teenager  is taken  into a                                                               
room and  counseled by PPA staff,  she then changes her  mind and                                                               
decides not to have the abortion,  and staff are left facing very                                                               
angry parents.   Nonetheless,  when a  teenager changes  her mind                                                               
about  having  an  abortion,  PPA simply  honors  her  choice  to                                                               
continue with her pregnancy and  refers her for prenatal care and                                                               
other  programs  - such  as  the  Special Supplemental  Nutrition                                                               
Program for  Women, Infants and  Children (WIC) - that  will help                                                               
her be  healthy.  "So  it really  is important that  young people                                                               
have good  and appropriate  health care, and  I think  that's the                                                               
bottom line here," she added.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON,  in response to  another question, explained  that PPA                                                               
basically  operates as  a  medical facility  in  Alaska but  also                                                               
addresses issues of  public policy, so when PPA feels  that a law                                                               
is unconstitutional or  will infringe on the  rights of teenagers                                                               
or women in  general, PPA will facilitate bringing  a case before                                                               
the courts.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:51:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY  GOODNIGHT, Public  Affairs Manager,  Planned Parenthood                                                               
of  Alaska   (PPA),  added  that   PPA  is  a   small,  nonprofit                                                               
organization  with a  staff of  five  or six  who undertake  many                                                               
tasks  such as  performing administrative  duties, and  providing                                                               
legislative testimony, community outreach, and education.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON noted that PPA doesn't employ any lawyers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   asked  how  much  public   funding  PPA                                                               
receives.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMON  explained  that  PPA doesn't  receive  any  state  or                                                               
federal funding for its Anchorage  or Fairbanks clinics, but is a                                                               
"Title X grantee"  for its Sitka and Soldotna  sites which offer,                                                               
specifically, family planning  services.  The Title  X funding is                                                               
federal funding  and ensures that  women can get access  to birth                                                               
control  and pelvic  exams -  pap  smears -  regardless of  their                                                               
income.   In response to a  question, she clarified that  Title X                                                               
is not Medicaid - it is separate  funding - and that PPA does not                                                               
receive  any of  its Title  X  grants directly  from the  federal                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT noted  that she was born and raised  in Chugiak and                                                               
graduated from  Chugiak High School.   She  said that as  a young                                                               
person who grew up  in a more rural part of  Alaska, she would be                                                               
speaking in opposition to HB 364.  She went on to say:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     As  a child  and as  a teen,  my parents  were fabulous                                                                    
     communicators.   Like most parents,  they wanted  me to                                                                    
     be healthy, make responsible  decisions, and stay safe.                                                                    
     Early  on in  my life,  they  talked to  me about  sex,                                                                    
     healthy  relationships, drugs,  doing my  homework, and                                                                    
     helping  out  with chores.    And,  like most  kids,  I                                                                    
     thrived in that  environment - I got good  grades and I                                                                    
     prepared  to go  to college.   But  even with  an open,                                                                    
     loving relationship  with my parents, there  were still                                                                    
     some  things I  was  just  not going  to  talk to  them                                                                    
     about.    You  see,  parents want  their  teens  to  be                                                                    
     responsible;  they ...  want  to  protect their  teens'                                                                    
     wellbeing  and their  safety.   Like  most Alaskans,  I                                                                    
     believe  in family  values; I  have a  strong sense  of                                                                    
     family and community that my  parents have instilled in                                                                    
     me.  Parents  do have needs and they  certainly do have                                                                    
     rights,  but what  we're talking  about here  today, on                                                                    
     balance, is a teen's welfare.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I  understand where  parents and  this committee  might                                                                    
     feel  like this  bill could  help.   This  bill has  an                                                                    
     important, central  intent -  parent-teen communication                                                                    
     - but in  reality it will not have  the desired effect.                                                                    
     We have to  realize what teens out there  are facing in                                                                    
     the real  world, and what  this bill will  actually do.                                                                    
     In  Alaska, and  what we  see in  our clinics,  is that                                                                    
     teens  are  overwhelming  involving  their  parents  in                                                                    
     their  reproductive  health,   including  decisions  to                                                                    
     terminate a pregnancy.   The group that  this bill will                                                                    
     affect, however,  are teens that don't  want to involve                                                                    
     parents -  for very good reasons.   We need to  be real                                                                    
     about  this bill  and  its implications.    No law  can                                                                    
     mandate  family  communication,  and  not  every  child                                                                    
     comes from a loving home with healthy relationships.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Some pregnant minors face rape,  violence, or incest in                                                                    
     their homes.   These teens  can't go to  their parents,                                                                    
     and while at first glance  this bill might look like it                                                                    
     tries  to  aid  these   minors,  when  you  investigate                                                                    
     further and read between the  lines, you see that those                                                                    
     girls must  prove their abuse  and then go  through the                                                                    
     courts  to get  the health  care that  they seek.   For                                                                    
     girls who are afraid to  report molestation by a family                                                                    
     member,    this   bill    would   create    an   almost                                                                    
     insurmountable   obstacle.     These  girls   may  even                                                                    
     consider more extreme, dangerous  measures if forced to                                                                    
     notify their  parents, such as  running away  - heading                                                                    
     for other  states without parental notification  laws -                                                                    
     or taking matters into their own hands.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT continued:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The notion  that these teens  can go to a  judge simply                                                                    
     causes  delays  when  time  is  of  the  essence  in  a                                                                    
     pregnancy, particularly  when we're talking  about teen                                                                    
     health care.  Delays of days  or a week can force teens                                                                    
     to bear  children they  are not  prepared to  take care                                                                    
     of,  or  turn an  early-stage  abortion  into a  second                                                                    
     trimester abortion.   No one here should want  that.  I                                                                    
     don't  believe  anyone  here  does.    That's  why  the                                                                    
     American   Medical   Association,   the   Society   for                                                                    
     Adolescent  Medicine,  [the]   American  Public  Health                                                                    
     Association, the American  College of Obstetricians and                                                                    
     Gynecologists, the American  Academy of Pediatrics, and                                                                    
     other  health-professional  organizations have  opposed                                                                    
     parental notification requirements.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I  believe that  House  Bill 364  will have  disastrous                                                                    
     consequences for  the unfortunate few girls  it affects                                                                    
     each  year.   In  the best  of  worlds, families  would                                                                    
     openly discuss  everything - from money  to homework to                                                                    
     sex -  and parents and  teens would always  be truthful                                                                    
     and  honest  with  one another.    Although  we  cannot                                                                    
     impose this  type of trusting,  supportive, parent-teen                                                                    
     relationship, I  think the  intent of  HB 364  is right                                                                    
     and good  in that we all  want parents and teens  to be                                                                    
     communicating -  that's why we're  here today.   We all                                                                    
     want to help the teens  in our community be healthy and                                                                    
     be safe and make responsible  decisions, ... and we all                                                                    
     want to reduce unintended pregnancies in Alaska. ...                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT concluded:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This  is where  I think  we can  find some  much-needed                                                                    
     common  ground  - all  of  us  in  the room  -  between                                                                    
     Planned  Parenthood [of  Alaska], the  [House Judiciary                                                                    
     Standing Committee], Representative  Coghill, [and] the                                                                    
     entire legislature; this  is the time where  we need to                                                                    
     find this much-needed  common ground.  We  need to work                                                                    
     on  a comprehensive  bill that  focuses on  prevention,                                                                    
     using the  same good intentions  of House Bill  364 but                                                                    
     without the  negative consequences for  Alaska's teens.                                                                    
     We  need   to  ensure   that  our  youth   are  getting                                                                    
     comprehensive,  medically-accurate sexuality  education                                                                    
     that includes  abstinence, of course, but  also methods                                                                    
     of  contraception   and  information   about  sexually-                                                                    
     transmitted infections;  that our youth have  access to                                                                    
     unbiased and  medically-accurate counseling  and, first                                                                    
     of   all,   good   medical  care   that's   accessible,                                                                    
     affordable,   or  free;   and  that   our  youth   have                                                                    
     widespread   access   to  affordable   birth   control,                                                                    
     especially  in  rural  areas  like   my  home  town  of                                                                    
     Chugiak.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     We  need parents  to initiate  these  discussions.   We                                                                    
     need to encourage them to  talk to their kids about sex                                                                    
     and  sexual health  early  on.   We  should be  working                                                                    
     together  on  this   kind  of  prevention  legislation.                                                                    
     Instead of  targeting those  few unfortunate  teens who                                                                    
     have already been pregnant and  are pregnant - as House                                                                    
     Bill 364  does - we  should be focused on  helping them                                                                    
     make safe and  healthy choices early on,  before sex is                                                                    
     even a thought - before.   While we may have missed the                                                                    
     cutoff  date for  new bills  this  session, this  truly                                                                    
     could be  our opportunity  to work together  and tackle                                                                    
     these  challenges for  the  2008-2009  legislature.   I                                                                    
     look forward to  working with all of you,  thank you so                                                                    
     much.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT, in response to  a question, remarked that abortion                                                               
is an aspect of reproductive health care.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM   sought  clarification   that  medical                                                               
providers don't support parental consent [legislation].                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SIMON  confirmed   that  point,   and  agreed   to  provide                                                               
documentation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM asked  how often  the boy/man  who gets                                                               
the teenager  pregnant, and/or his  parents, becomes  involved in                                                               
the pregnant teenager's situation.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMON  said  that  PPA   sees  a  lot  of  different  family                                                               
structures among  the teenagers  that access  PPA services.   She                                                               
elaborated:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We see everything from teens  being brought in by their                                                                    
     parents to teens being brought  in by the grandparents,                                                                    
     teens  sometimes  being  brought in  by  a  caseworker,                                                                    
     teens  being  brought in  with  their  parents and  the                                                                    
     boyfriend's parents  and the  boyfriend's grandparents.                                                                    
     ...  We  really  see  a  tremendous  amount  of  family                                                                    
     involvement  around this  issue.   We  also see  teens,                                                                    
     when they do choose to  continue with the pregnancy and                                                                    
     were initially  there for the abortion,  tell us openly                                                                    
     that they're going  to move out of their  home and into                                                                    
     someone else's home who has  welcomed them.  And so ...                                                                    
     all of  those things  go into a  teen making  her final                                                                    
     decision ....                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:07:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON,  in response to  questions, explained that  PPA serves                                                               
anyone that comes into its  clinics, and attempts to provide age-                                                               
appropriate  care; that  most of  PPA's clients  are between  the                                                               
ages of 18  and 34; that of those that  come into PPA's Anchorage                                                               
clinic, only  2-4 percent are  under the age  of 18; and  that in                                                               
terms of brain chemistry and  how young people make decisions and                                                               
their critical-thinking  skills at  different ages,  a tremendous                                                               
amount of  research has been  conducted over the last  few years,                                                               
and  so the  committee may  wish  to seek  such information  from                                                               
someone specifically versed in that topic.   On the topics of sex                                                               
education and  behavior change/education and risk  reduction, she                                                               
pointed   out  that   when  young   people   are  provided   with                                                               
information, it empowers  them to keep their bodies  safer and to                                                               
protect themselves.  She added:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     So  when we  talk to  teens about  both abstinence  and                                                                    
     birth  control, we're  not encouraging  them to  go out                                                                    
     and  have sex  'just  make sure  you  take your  pill';                                                                    
     we're  really giving  them the  opportunity to  protect                                                                    
     themselves  through their  whole  lifespan.   And  when                                                                    
     given that opportunity, the studies  are very clear and                                                                    
     do show  that teens do  make good choices  when they're                                                                    
     given all the information.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON, in  response to further questions,  explained that the                                                               
youngest teenager PPA provided services  to last year was 14, and                                                               
- with regard to teenagers who would  be affected by HB 364 - PPA                                                               
served  2,000  teenagers  between  the  ages  of  14  and  16  in                                                               
Anchorage and Fairbanks.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:10:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODNIGHT  pointed  out  that even  now,  without  either  a                                                               
parental consent or parental notification  law in place, parents,                                                               
overwhelmingly,  are involved  when their  teenager comes  into a                                                               
PPA  clinic  to  have  an abortion.    Generally  speaking,  when                                                               
teenagers don't bring a parent in  with them, it is often because                                                               
doing so would  endanger their health and  safety, either because                                                               
they are  victims of some  form of  abuse or are  threatened with                                                               
abuse and so cannot notify or obtain their parents' consent.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMON, in  response to  a question,  relayed that  she would                                                               
provide  the  committee with  information  regarding  the age  of                                                               
PPA's  youngest client,  but noted  that she  has seen  some very                                                               
young  girls being  brought  in  by their  parents  to start  the                                                               
vaccine series  against genital  human papillomavirus  (HPV), and                                                               
reiterated  that the  youngest  girl  to come  in  this year  for                                                               
family planning  services was age 14.   In response to  a further                                                               
question, she  explained that  teenagers [who  come into  PPA for                                                               
services] know  when they are  pregnant - they know  that they've                                                               
missed a period  and that there's something going on.   They come                                                               
to PPA  either after already  having done a home  pregnancy test,                                                               
or to request a pregnancy test  in order to confirm that they are                                                               
pregnant.   Teenagers are very savvy,  she added; they get  a lot                                                               
of information  off the  Internet, which would  not be  her first                                                               
choice as a  source for information, and are  pretty informed for                                                               
the most part.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON went on to say:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     And we  do spend  a lot of  time educating  young women                                                                    
     about how  to prevent future pregnancies  and what they                                                                    
     need to  do to protect  their sexual health  in general                                                                    
     as part of  their visit.  And a main  part of our visit                                                                    
     [consists of]  ... just talking to  them about parental                                                                    
     involvement.  Obviously,  if we see a  teen coming into                                                                    
     our  clinic who  is requesting  an abortion,  we really                                                                    
     encourage  them  and ...  spend  extra  time with  them                                                                    
     ensuring  that  they do  have  someone  coming in  with                                                                    
     them, and hopefully it is one of their parents.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM asked  whether abstinence  is discussed                                                               
as a method of pregnancy prevention.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON said, "Definitely."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT  added that  that's the  first thing  that's always                                                               
discussed,  including  the  information that  if  it's  practiced                                                               
properly  - assuming  that everyone  knows  that true  abstinence                                                               
really means  no contact, no touching  - and is used  100 percent                                                               
of the time, it's failsafe.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  questioned  what type  of  information  PPA                                                               
provides someone seeking an abortion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON  said that PPA provides  all women who come  in seeking                                                               
an abortion  with explicit details  about the  abortion procedure                                                               
and the  risks -  both before  and afterwards  - about  all their                                                               
other  options  such  as  adoption  and/or  continuing  with  the                                                               
pregnancy, and with counseling services  - either before or after                                                               
the termination appointment.   Some women come into  a PPA clinic                                                               
but they  haven't made up their  minds, and so PPA  staff spend a                                                               
significant amount of time helping  them explore the realities of                                                               
their lives.   She added, "Obviously I would never  presume to be                                                               
able to make those decisions  for women, so it's really important                                                               
that  we give  them very  unbiased information  so they  can make                                                               
those choices for themselves."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:16:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT,  in response  to questions, said  that one  of her                                                               
chief  concerns regarding  the judicial  bypass procedure  "as it                                                               
stands" is that there is  no explicit mention of confidentiality.                                                               
In researching  this issue,  she relayed, she  found that  the 13                                                               
other  states that  have  parental  notification laws  explicitly                                                               
state  the  measures  that  must  be taken  to  ensure  that  the                                                               
teenager's  confidentiality is  protected:   in  many states,  an                                                               
alias must  be used in the  file; the majority of  states require                                                               
that  the  proceedings  be closed  and  confidential;  one  state                                                               
requires that the files be destroyed  after a year to ensure that                                                               
the teenagers' confidentiality be protected.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODNIGHT  said she  is also concerned  about the  wording of                                                               
the provision  in the  bill that  says a  minor [may  request the                                                               
court to  provide her  with] permission to  leave school  to seek                                                               
[judicial  bypass for]  an abortion,  because there  are students                                                               
working in the school's offices and  so the issue will become one                                                               
of who  gets to know that  the minor has permission  to be absent                                                               
and for what  reason.  Even without stating  specifically why the                                                               
minor  is being  excused, everyone  will know  that she  is being                                                               
excused for "that  reason."  She urged  the committee, therefore,                                                               
to  be  very  careful  about  the  phrasing  of  that  provision.                                                               
Another concern  she has is  about the wording of  the [provision                                                               
that says  a judicial  bypass procedure is  available to  a minor                                                               
who is being  abused], because the minor must prove  to the court                                                               
that she  is being abused.   For example,  if a girl  is sexually                                                               
molested by  her father  and becomes pregnant  and then  seeks an                                                               
abortion, would she  be able to speak about  that molestation and                                                               
admit to being molested to a  police officer and the courts?  And                                                               
if  she is  unable to  do so,  she wouldn't  be able  to get  the                                                               
medical care that she desires.   Furthermore, the bill is unclear                                                               
with regard to  who would assist the minor as  she attempts to go                                                               
through the judicial bypass procedure.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODNIGHT  also pointed  out  that  for a  teenager  seeking                                                               
medical  care, any  delay creates  many  more hurdles,  and if  a                                                               
teenager  has decided  to have  an  abortion, but  has then  been                                                               
delayed  by at  least another  week,  she may  simply reject  the                                                               
proposed system and take matters into her own hands.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked how  PPA,  when  counseling a  minor,                                                               
refers to what will be aborted.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON said that PPA  uses the medical terminology of "fetus."                                                               
She added that  all PPA's clients are referred  to the "informed-                                                               
consent" web site as mandated by  statute, and this web site goes                                                               
into much more detail with regard to what a fetus is.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he is  concerned about the right to                                                               
counsel,  and noted  that AS  18.16.030(d) provides  that if  the                                                               
complainant  has  not  retained  an  attorney,  the  court  shall                                                               
appoint an  attorney to  represent the  complainant, and  that AS                                                               
18.16.030(n) says  that the forms  provided to the  minor seeking                                                               
judicial bypass must state that  an attorney will be appointed to                                                               
represent  the minor  if she  does not  retain an  attorney.   He                                                               
asked whether petitioners  for a judicial bypass  are made aware,                                                               
aside from  information provided  in some  handout, that  if they                                                               
don't  have  an  attorney  and  can't afford  one,  one  will  be                                                               
provided without cost.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIMON said that PPA has  never dealt with the judicial bypass                                                               
procedure in practice,  and so she is not sure  how that would be                                                               
handled.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL offered his  understanding that right now,                                                               
"the responsibility  falls between whoever's counseling  at [PPA]                                                               
... and that individual, bar anybody else."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:23:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MANDY O'NEAL  COLE noted that she  would be speaking as  a parent                                                               
and that she is pro-choice.  She said:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     When I investigated this bill,  I have to admit that it                                                                    
     took me  quite a bit  of thinking  in order to  come up                                                                    
     with a  position.   This is  not, as  you say,  just an                                                                    
     abortion matter;  it's also a  parent matter, and  so I                                                                    
     started thinking  about, primarily, what I  want for my                                                                    
     children and what  kind of relationship I  want with my                                                                    
     children.   And my sincerest  hope is that we  have the                                                                    
     kind of  relationship where we  talk about  things like                                                                    
     this -  I have a  stepdaughter and a  son.  In  fact, I                                                                    
     have  to think,  in order  to  stay sane  as a  parent,                                                                    
     [that] they would  come to me for those  things. ... It                                                                    
     could  drive  you  crazy  if you  imagine  all  of  the                                                                    
     horrible  things  that  could   happen  to  your  child                                                                    
     without [you] ever knowing it,  and so I think for many                                                                    
     of us we need to really  believe that we have that kind                                                                    
     of  relationship with  our children.  ... And  the idea                                                                    
     that  they wouldn't  share ...  that with  me, I  think                                                                    
     would be  pretty devastating.   So really,  bottom line                                                                    
     is, I  believe that my kids  would come to me  if there                                                                    
     was that kind of trouble - law or no law.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEAL COLE went on to say:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I also started thinking  about the kind of difficulties                                                                    
     ... and  the kind  of adult  responsibilities teenagers                                                                    
     take on  every single  day just  living in  this world.                                                                    
     And I  had to balance  my hopes for what  would happen,                                                                    
     with my knowledge of reality  of what does happen.  And                                                                    
     I know that there are  teenagers who are afraid to talk                                                                    
     to  their parents  - ...  be  that out  of feelings  of                                                                    
     shame, be that out of  fear of physical ... assault, be                                                                    
     that out of fear of being  thrown out onto the street -                                                                    
     there are  kids who  can't talk  to their  parents, and                                                                    
     these are  the very  children that  we're asking  to go                                                                    
     through this  judicial bypass system.   And ...  I hope                                                                    
     many of you haven't had to  go to court for something -                                                                    
     for  anything,  really.   I  mean,  going to  court  is                                                                    
     sometimes  a very  difficult process  whether you're  a                                                                    
     criminal or  whether you're just  seeking some  kind of                                                                    
     civil  ...  [recourse];  I have  helped  people  get  a                                                                    
     protective order before, and  these are adult women who                                                                    
     are  smart and  capable and  still very  intimidated by                                                                    
     the system.   No matter  how transparent we want  it to                                                                    
     be, the idea  that a child is going to  be able to take                                                                    
     that on  voluntarily and admit  to the court  what they                                                                    
     couldn't  admit  or talk  to  their  parents about,  is                                                                    
     probably not very likely.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEAL COLE concluded:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     So the bottom line is, I  want all teenagers to be safe                                                                    
     - not just  my own kids -  I want all kids  to be loved                                                                    
     by  their   parents,  I  want   all  kids  to   have  a                                                                    
     relationship where  they can  talk to their  parents, I                                                                    
     want laws that  help children make good  choices, but I                                                                    
     want,  ultimately,  [their]  relationships  with  their                                                                    
     parents to be genuine, authentic,  and not forced.  And                                                                    
     so  if  we  consider  that the  majority  of  teens  do                                                                    
     involve  a  parent  in their  decision,  then  the  law                                                                    
     doesn't seem  that necessary, and  the ones  who don't,                                                                    
     don't do so for a good reason.   And if we are going to                                                                    
     force this to happen, if  we're going to make it happen                                                                    
     and possibly endanger  one more child with  this law, I                                                                    
     don't  think it's  necessary.   I think  we should  let                                                                    
     girls who've  had to conceal that  situation from their                                                                    
     parents out of  fear make a decision  that's safest for                                                                    
     them.   And it involves  ... some faith, some  faith in                                                                    
     your kids,  some faith  in other  people's kids,  but I                                                                    
     think as parents we do  absolutely everything we can to                                                                    
     be  responsible,  but  we can't  make  it  happen  just                                                                    
     because we want  it.  So let's let  kids make decisions                                                                    
     that keep  themselves safest,  and if  we can  do that,                                                                    
     then we don't need a law like House Bill 364.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:28:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked who should  be responsible  for paying                                                               
for any  medical care if a  pregnant girl, as a  result of having                                                               
an abortion, ends up with a serious medical condition.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'NEAL  COLE  offered her  understanding  that  parents  are                                                               
always  financially responsible  for  the  medical conditions  of                                                               
their  children,  regardless of  whether  consent  is given.    A                                                               
parent can't simply say, "I didn't  say you could do this, so I'm                                                               
not going to pay  for it."  For example, she  didn't give her son                                                               
permission to break his  arm, but she still had to  pay to get it                                                               
fixed.  She added:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     There are  things we have to  pay for in order  to keep                                                                    
     our  children  safe and  ...  functional,  and if  that                                                                    
     means  taking care  of a  medical issue,  paying for  a                                                                    
     medical  issue after  an abortion,  I  think, if  we're                                                                    
     talking   about  these   parents   who   ...  do   feel                                                                    
     responsible for their children,  they'll be happy to do                                                                    
     that, even if that decision  wasn't theirs, if it means                                                                    
     it might save their kid's life.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN surmised  that a parent might want  to sue [a                                                               
medical facility]  for causing a  condition in his/her  child for                                                               
which the parent now has to  pay through no fault of his/her own;                                                               
that  might  be an  unintended  consequence  of failing  to  pass                                                               
HB 364.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEAL COLE, acknowledging that  that is a point to consider,                                                               
surmised, however,  that a parent will  have to pay for  the cost                                                               
of his/her child having a baby  that the parent didn't consent to                                                               
her having.   "Either way,  there may be some  expenditure, there                                                               
may  be some  responsibility, there  may be  things that  parents                                                               
don't  want; ...  I  think,  in having  children,  you know  that                                                               
things are  going to happen that  you don't want to  happen ... -                                                               
they're not going to do everything  you hope that they would do,"                                                               
she added.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN acknowledged that point.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:31:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBBIE JOSLIN,  President, Eagle Forum Alaska,  relayed that she,                                                               
Eagle  Forum Alaska,  and the  1,100  member-families that  Eagle                                                               
Forum Alaska represents  are in support HB 364.   She referred to                                                               
an  organization called  Life Dynamics,  Inc.,  and relayed  that                                                               
that  organization had  a staff  member  call different  abortion                                                               
clinics around the  country pretending to be  a pregnant 13-year-                                                               
old who had a 27-year-old  boyfriend and was seeking an abortion.                                                               
Ms. Joslin offered  her understanding that that  staff member was                                                               
told by  those at the  abortion clinics  not to tell  her parents                                                               
and  not to  mention the  boyfriend's  age again,  and that  such                                                               
conversations   were  recorded.      She  characterized   Planned                                                               
Parenthood organizations  and other abortion clinics  as being in                                                               
the business  of providing abortions and  not necessarily seeking                                                               
to protect the rights of children.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. JOSLIN went on to say:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Whether we  like it  or not, god  has made  parents for                                                                    
     kids.    And parents  are  not  perfect and  they  make                                                                    
     mistakes,  and   some  parents  are   really  downright                                                                    
     rotten.   But the  majority of the  time parents  are a                                                                    
     great   thing,  and   it  is   their   job  and   their                                                                    
     responsibility to  protect their kids.   And it  is not                                                                    
     the right of the State  or Planned Parenthood or anyone                                                                    
     else to  come between  a parent and  their child.   And                                                                    
     ... the courts  were way out of bounds,  in my opinion,                                                                    
     to  say that  a parent  has  no right  to have  consent                                                                    
     required before a minor's abortion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  JOSLIN pointed  out that  when a  child gets  a headache  at                                                               
school,  the  school  must  get   a  parent's  permission  before                                                               
administering aspirin.   Furthermore,  a child  seeking to  get a                                                               
tattoo or  a piercing or  join a sports team  or go to  camp must                                                               
also obtain  parental consent.   On the issue  of confidentiality                                                               
at school, she  offered her belief that although no  one wants to                                                               
embarrass a young girl by releasing  the fact that she is seeking                                                               
or has  had an  abortion, keeping  that a  secret will  cause the                                                               
young girl  more hurt  than would discussing  it openly  with her                                                               
parents.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. JOSLIN said  that as a parent, she wants  her daughters to be                                                               
honest with  her, but regardless  of whether  they do, it  is her                                                               
right as  a parent  to know  what her children  are doing  and to                                                               
have the final say about what is  going on with them, and the law                                                               
shouldn't interfere with  that right.  There are  girls that have                                                               
been sexually  abused repeatedly,  but their parents  didn't know                                                               
about it  because they were  not required  to give consent  to an                                                               
abortion.  She added:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     We had a  women who was engaged to a  fellow and he was                                                                    
     having sex  with her ... 13-,  14-year-old daughter and                                                                    
     had gotten  her two  abortions ...  before it  all came                                                                    
     out, and  the reason  he could do  that was  because he                                                                    
     would sexually  abuse this girl  and he would  take her                                                                    
     into an  abortion clinic, and  he was not her  parent -                                                                    
     he  was just  some man  - and  they did  not require  a                                                                    
     parent's  signature, and  this woman  didn't know  that                                                                    
     this was going on.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. JOSLIN,  in conclusion, said  she thinks  that it would  be a                                                               
disservice  to families,  parents, and  kids if  the bill  is not                                                               
passed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:37:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROCKY PLOTNICK, after relaying that  she is a health educator and                                                               
the  parent  of  four  grown  children, said  that  by  the  time                                                               
teenagers in  Alaska reach the  age of  16, roughly half  of them                                                               
report that  they are  sexually active.   She offered  her belief                                                               
that it is  very important to encourage parents to  talk to their                                                               
children and  vice versa, and  that "values" shouldn't  be taught                                                               
in the  school, and said  she supports pregnancy  prevention, not                                                               
only  via  obstacles and  barriers,  but  also via  abstinence  -                                                               
though  the  reality is  that  not  everyone  will choose  to  be                                                               
abstinent   -  and   supports  open   relationships/communication                                                               
between parents  and children.   She mentioned  that many  of her                                                               
children's  friends and  some of  her adult  friends have  shared                                                               
with her some of the sexual  issues they've had to deal with, and                                                               
opined that although  she thinks the intention of HB  364 is good                                                               
in terms  of parents and their  rights, she is afraid  that if it                                                               
is enacted, the very few young  women who may choose to terminate                                                               
a pregnancy  may be so intimidated  by the court system  or other                                                               
factors that  they put  themselves in  horrible situations.   She                                                               
expressed  concern that  there will  be people  without financial                                                               
resources who won't get any  assistance.  In conclusion, she said                                                               
she believes  that pregnancy prevention  is part of  the solution                                                               
so that every child is a wanted child and is planned for.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAKO HAGGERTY stated that he opposes  HB 364.  He relayed that he                                                               
has children and  likes to think that he has  a good relationship                                                               
with them,  that his friends  have good relationships  with their                                                               
children,  and that  he doesn't  need  the state  to mandate  him                                                               
having open  communication with  his children -  he just  does it                                                               
because he wants  to.  Unfortunately, not all kids  are as lucky,                                                               
and it is those kids that the bill  is aimed at, the kids who are                                                               
in trouble  and have difficulty communicating  with their parents                                                               
and have  no one  to turn to.   House Bill  364 puts  those young                                                               
women in a more stressful  position than they are already dealing                                                               
with.  He  added, "In fact, I believe that  a teenage girl that's                                                               
in trouble  may be one  of the  loneliest and weakest  members of                                                               
our society, and this bill beats them up."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAGGERTY went on to say:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     If you want  to outlaw abortion - and ...  I can't help                                                                    
     but think  that's really  what this  is all  about, and                                                                    
     it's  kind of  a backdoor  way of  ... picking  away at                                                                    
     abortion rights,  but, fair enough, if  you want outlaw                                                                    
     abortion  - then  do so  across the  board so  we don't                                                                    
     pick on the weakest of the  weakest of society.  I grew                                                                    
     up believing that  it's the government's responsibility                                                                    
     to protect weaker  members of society -  I think that's                                                                    
     the job of  government - and this law  does not protect                                                                    
     these  young women.   In  fact, I  believe these  young                                                                    
     women are safer without this  law.  I oppose House Bill                                                                    
     364 -  I believe it's  a bully  tactic.  Thank  you for                                                                    
     this opportunity [to speak].                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS pointed out that some  would argue that the fetus is                                                               
the  weakest of  all in  society.   He said  he is  interested in                                                               
knowing at what age a girl is capable of making "this" decision.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:47:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM MINNERY, President, Alaska Family  Council, indicated that he                                                               
would  be speaking  in support  of HB  364.   He said  the Alaska                                                               
Family Council  believes that the  Alaska Supreme  Court decision                                                               
declaring  the  parental   consent  law  unconstitutional  strips                                                               
parents  of  the  ability to  oversee  their  children's  health.                                                               
Denying  parents  the  opportunity  to be  involved  in  a  life-                                                               
altering  experience such  as an  abortion encourages  alienation                                                               
and isolation between parent and  child when the child is perhaps                                                               
in greatest need for guidance and  support.  If, he argued, there                                                               
isn't   any  legislation   that   could   create  better   family                                                               
communication,  then  why are  children  in  Alaska not  able  to                                                               
become licensed  drivers, get  aspirin at  school, get  a tattoo,                                                               
get pierced, go on  field trips, get on a sports  team, or join a                                                               
local gym without  getting parental consent.  He  opined that the                                                               
State does have a vested  interest in ensuring that communication                                                               
occurs with regard to some issues.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MINNERY,  referring to the  comment that those  teenagers who                                                               
don't talk  to their parents  about getting an abortion  don't do                                                               
so for  a good  reason, opined  that it  really depends  on one's                                                               
definition of "good."  He  offered his understanding that a study                                                               
conducted  of   490  girls  that   pursued  parental   bypass  in                                                               
Massachusetts  found  that  50 percent  reported  that  they  had                                                               
positive relationships  with their parents.   Despite this, those                                                               
girls  still  sought  to bypass  parental  involvement  in  their                                                               
decision to  have an abortion:   22  percent of those  girls were                                                               
trying to avoid parental involvement  simply to avoid the loss of                                                               
parental trust,  avoid parental disappointment, or  avoid loss of                                                               
parental respect;  another 22  percent of  those girls  wanted to                                                               
avoid  parental involvement  simply  because  their parents  held                                                               
different ideological  views about abortion.   Only three  out of                                                               
all  the girls  in that  study  said they  were seeking  parental                                                               
involvement  because  they  feared possible  physical  harm  from                                                               
their parents.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MINNERY  offered his belief  that had the U.S.  Supreme Court                                                               
Justice who  authored Roe v.  Wade been  a justice on  the Alaska                                                             
Supreme  Court, he  would have  upheld Alaska's  parental consent                                                               
law  as constitutional;  that  the court  of  that justice's  era                                                               
consistently  upheld parental  involvement laws  as long  as they                                                               
included  a  judicial bypass  provision  -  as was  contained  in                                                               
Alaska's law.  Mr. Minnery,  noting that his organization agrees,                                                               
offered  his  belief  that  the  dissenting  opinion  in  Planned                                                             
Parenthood of  Alaska observed that  the Alaska  legislature went                                                             
out of its way in crafting  the judicial bypass provision in that                                                               
law to accommodate  the unique circumstances in Alaska.   He also                                                               
offered his  understanding that  the last  time the  U.S. Supreme                                                               
Court considered  a parental consent  statute, it ruled  9-0 that                                                               
that statute was constitutional; and  that at the local level, in                                                               
Alaska,  the medical  director of  PPA  stated that  she did  not                                                               
provide  abortions to  girls  under  the age  of  17 because  she                                                               
didn't   believe   they   could  handle   the   process   without                                                               
parental/adult supervision.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MINNERY,  in conclusion, said that  his organization believes                                                               
that most Alaskans  should be outraged that the  court has thrown                                                               
away the rights  of parents to determine  whether their daughters                                                               
can undergo  what he characterized  as an  invasive, irreversible                                                               
surgical  procedure   that  takes   the  life  of   their  unborn                                                               
grandchildren.   The Alaska Family Council,  he relayed, strongly                                                               
urges the committee  to support HB 364 and restore  the rights of                                                               
parents to oversee the health decisions of their children.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:52:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE  E. BAMBERGER,  after  relaying  that she  was  one of  the                                                               
lawyers  who   worked  on  the  "parental   consent  litigation,"                                                               
remarked  that one  of the  difficult things  that comes  to mind                                                               
whenever legislation such as HB 364  comes up is that it is truly                                                               
counterintuitive - as  a parent, everyone recoils  at the thought                                                               
of not having parental involvement  in any minor's decision.  But                                                               
it's  important, she  said,  to understand  that  because of  the                                                               
"strange"  language in  the bill,  the legislature  should really                                                               
consider  what is  needed  - factually  and  scientifically -  to                                                               
protect  minors'  health, and  the  language  in HB  364  doesn't                                                               
provide that yet.  She added:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     There is  so much  research on  this -  it is  cited on                                                                    
     both sides  ... of the  briefs and the many  cases that                                                                    
     have been  filed [indisc.] -  that I think  it's pretty                                                                    
     undisputable  that over  60 percent  of the  minors who                                                                    
     seek  to  have an  abortion  do  so with  ...  parental                                                                    
     involvement, and those  that do not have  a good reason                                                                    
     to  choose  not to  do  so.    I cannot  encourage  you                                                                    
     enough, before you  proceed with this bill,  to look at                                                                    
     the scientific research  on it. ... I did  do some more                                                                    
     [research] since the time of  the litigation, and ... I                                                                    
     saw nothing  new than what  was true years ago  when we                                                                    
     presented this issue to the courts.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     But  basically you  can see  very good  studies by  the                                                                    
     Alan Guttmacher  Institute, by Stanley Henshaw,  and by                                                                    
     articles in something called  the Science journal where                                                                  
     you  see  many  physicians who  strongly  believe  that                                                                    
     requiring consent  or notification before a  minor gets                                                                    
     an  abortion is  harmful  to the  health  of the  young                                                                    
     women.  This is, in  fact, the position of most doctors                                                                    
     who   practice  in   the   area   of  [obstetrics   and                                                                    
     gynecology] and who also are adolescent psychiatrists,                                                                     
      and ... if you wanted ... citations on that, ... I'd                                                                      
     be happy to get them for you.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAMBERGER,  with  regard  to the  concern  about  the  brain                                                               
chemistry of  minors, pointed  out that  there is  information on                                                               
file with  the supreme  court which  illustrates that  minors who                                                               
are  mature enough  to decide  to give  birth are  equally mature                                                               
enough to decide to have an  abortion.  Furthermore, by their own                                                               
medical  guidelines,  in   obtaining  informed  consent,  doctors                                                               
already  must counsel  their  patients to  seek  the guidance  of                                                               
their parents,  so this is  really a  redundant bill.   In making                                                               
public  health  policy,  she  cautioned  members  against  simply                                                               
responding  to  hyperbole instead  of  to  scientific facts,  and                                                               
concluded by saying she opposes HB 364.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN asked  whether the  Guttmacher Institute  is                                                               
either  owned  by,   an  arm  of,  or   associated  with  Planned                                                               
Parenthood.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAMBERGER said she does not  believe it is but would research                                                               
that issue further.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said,  "Suppose  it  is  supported  or                                                               
associated  with Planned  Parenthood, what  difference does  that                                                               
make?"                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  opined that that  would reflect the  bias of                                                               
the organization.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:58:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID BRONSON,  Treasurer, Alaska Family Council,  mentioned that                                                               
he is  the father of  two - a  daughter and a  son - and  said he                                                               
would  be speaking  in  favor of  HB  364.   He  referred to  Ms.                                                               
Joslin's testimony  and said there  was very little he  could add                                                               
to that.  After pointing out  that his daughter must get parental                                                               
consent to join  a sports team but need not  get parental consent                                                               
for  an abortion,  he opined  that limiting  abortion as  much as                                                               
possible and  bringing adults into  the process will  protect the                                                               
children.  Allowing a  girl between the ages of 14  and 17 to get                                                               
an abortion  really isn't making  "the problem" go  away, because                                                               
someone  of  that age  is  not  capable  with dealing  with  "the                                                               
situation."  The  bill will bring the most important  people in a                                                               
young  girl's  life -  her  parents  - into  the  decision-making                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRONSON, referring  to PPA's  comment that  some minors  may                                                               
need protection  from their  parents, opined  that PPA  is simply                                                               
trying  to  protect  its  revenue  stream.    He  challenged  the                                                               
legislature to address the issue  of abortion and the question of                                                               
whether it is right or  wrong; if the legislature determines that                                                               
abortion  is  right,  then  it   should  remove  restrictions  on                                                               
abortion,  but if  the legislature  determines  that abortion  is                                                               
wrong, then it  should put reasonable restrictions  on abortion -                                                               
a reasonable  restriction such as  is being proposed via  HB 364.                                                               
In conclusion, he said he is in  favor of HB 364, and thanked the                                                               
sponsor for introducing the legislation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  said that although  he agrees  that abortion                                                               
is an  element of the debate,  he views this issue  as a parental                                                               
rights issue and a separation of power issue.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  said to  Mr. Bronson that  although he  himself has                                                               
concerns  with  PPA and  its  agenda,  he wouldn't  presume  that                                                               
generating  revenue  is  PPA's  top-tier  concern;  that  revenue                                                               
generation is not  the topic of discussion; and that  he would no                                                               
more tolerate  similar comments being made  towards Mr. Bronson's                                                               
organization than he will tolerate them being made towards PPA.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:04:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY  CHRISTIANSEN, R.N.,  offered her  understanding that  HB 364                                                               
will take away a teenager's right  to get an abortion without her                                                               
parents' permission.  She then said:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     For me, this is about  a teenager's rights, and I think                                                                    
     that it's  our job  to protect a  minor's rights.   I'm                                                                    
     pretty  sure everyone  is  familiar  with "the  Pilgrim                                                                    
     family  in McCarthy,"  and I  just wonder,  would "Papa                                                                    
     Pilgrim" have  been granted permission  to keep  one of                                                                    
     his children from an abortion,  and I think that puts a                                                                    
     face and a name on it that we're all familiar with.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHRISTIANSEN opined that even if  the bill will only affect a                                                               
small percent of teenagers, it's  those teenagers that need to be                                                               
protected.    She said  she  doesn't  think  the issue  is  about                                                               
protecting a  parent's rights but, rather,  it's about protecting                                                               
a teenager's/minor's rights.   A woman is born with  the right to                                                               
decide  [whether or  not to  give  birth], she  opined, and  just                                                               
because  a woman  is still  a teenager,  that right  shouldn't be                                                               
taken away.   She said  she would hate  to see society  return to                                                               
the  days when  a teenager  has to  seek out  someone willing  to                                                               
perform an illegal abortion, because those aren't safe.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHRISTIANSEN surmised  that the issue is one  of health care,                                                               
since  healthcare providers  are  the ones  who provide  abortion                                                               
services, and  that it shouldn't  be the  doctor's responsibility                                                               
to obtain  a parent's consent  in order to provide  that service.                                                               
In conclusion, she said she opposes  HB 364, and offered her hope                                                               
that members will see it for what  it is - an attack on a woman's                                                               
right to choose.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether there is  any other legal                                                               
restriction in Alaska  on the age at which a  minor can get other                                                               
types of medical care without his/her parents' permission.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTIANSEN  said  she  did  not  know,  but  offered  that                                                               
pregnancy  doesn't  have  just  a  medical  aspect,  but  also  a                                                               
psychological aspect.   On the  issue of brain chemistry  and the                                                               
question of  at what age  is someone  capable of making  an adult                                                               
decision [such  as whether  to give birth  or have  an abortion],                                                               
she posited that  the brain chemistry of many  adults still isn't                                                               
advanced enough to  make such a decision; [having to  make such a                                                               
decision] isn't a function of how old someone is.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:09:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REV ORION relayed  that he is a single father  of a nine-year-old                                                               
son, and that when his son  was conceived, his father told him to                                                               
seek  abortion.   He said  that he  is very  much against  HB 364                                                               
because allowing parents to be a  part of a person's decision [of                                                               
whether to give  birth or have an abortion] seems  to be based on                                                               
the ability of  the parents to communicate with their  child.  He                                                               
remarked that  if his son gets  into a situation in  which he has                                                               
to make a grown-up decision and  his son doesn't chose to come to                                                               
him [for  advice], he wouldn't consider  that to be a  failure on                                                               
the part of his son or on the  part of some law; rather, it would                                                               
a  failure on  his part  because it  is his  responsibility as  a                                                               
parent to ensure that his child  can communicate with him, and if                                                               
he fails to  do so, then his child won't  include him when making                                                               
decisions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ORION  opined that  a  child  shouldn't  be punished  for  a                                                               
parent's inability  to communicate  with the  child.   A parent's                                                               
part in  "this decision" is  to inform and educate  his/her child                                                               
so  that  an unwanted  pregnancy  doesn't  occur to  begin  with.                                                               
Although a  parent could  be a  child's most  important resource,                                                               
that's not always  the case.  Furthermore, on the  issue of "bad-                                                               
acting  parents" versus  responsible  parents, who  gets to  make                                                               
that judgment?   What constitutes a responsible  parent?  Someone                                                               
who will  tell their child not  to have an abortion?   Or someone                                                               
who will actually communicate with his/her child?                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. ORION - referring to  the comments that children are required                                                               
to obtain  parental consent before  obtaining aspirin  at school,                                                               
or getting a  tattoo or a piercing, or joining  a sports team, or                                                               
going to camp  - pointed out that that is  a very weak comparison                                                               
because  those  are  all  pretty  simple  things,  whereas  being                                                               
responsible for  giving birth to a  baby is on quite  a different                                                               
level.  If  a girl has a baby at  the age of 14, 15,  or 16, that                                                               
is taking on quite a bit  more responsibility than if she is just                                                               
taking  aspirin  or  playing sports.    Therefore,  the  question                                                               
becomes who  should get to  make that  decision - the  person who                                                               
will have  to become a parent  herself for the next  18 years, or                                                               
her  parents,  who  weren't  even able  to  bring  about  quality                                                               
communication with their daughter.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ORION,  with regard to the  argument that a parent  will have                                                               
to pay  for the cost  of something  going wrong with  an abortion                                                               
procedure,  pointed   out  that  that,   too,  is  part   of  the                                                               
responsibility  of  being a  parent;  "you  have  to be  able  to                                                               
manufacture communication with your child,  [and] if you can't do                                                               
that, then, yes,  you deserve to be called and  told that ... now                                                               
you  need  to  come  take  care of  this."    It's  the  parents'                                                               
responsibility to communicate with their  child, and it's not the                                                               
government's role to impose such  a responsibility upon 14-, 15-,                                                               
or 16-year-old girls.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. ORION  said he works  at PPA and has  had people call  up and                                                               
ask  whether  there  is  any   way  to  perform  an  abortion  on                                                               
themselves.  He's  had people call up and say  that their parents                                                               
won't let them have an abortion;  he's had people call up and say                                                               
their parents  were forcing them to  have an abortion.   He's had                                                               
people ask him  whether doing "a bunch"  of methamphetamine would                                                               
succeed in killing the fetus.   So when anybody asks staff at PPA                                                               
what her  options are, he and  every other staff member  tell the                                                               
person  that  she has  three  options:   adoption,  abortion,  or                                                               
raising a child.  No one  in the country, he surmised, is running                                                               
around   promoting  abortion,   and  the   thought  of   such  is                                                               
ridiculous.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ORION, on the concept of  requiring a girl to obtain parental                                                               
consent before  receiving an abortion, remarked,  "How ridiculous                                                               
would it  be if we forced  them to get their  parents' permission                                                               
to have a  baby."  In conclusion, he offered  his belief that the                                                               
real  intention of  HB 364  is to  limit abortion,  characterized                                                               
[the  bill] as  poorly thought  out, and  recommend that  members                                                               
vote against the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:15:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked Mr. Orion what  parental rights should                                                               
be retained.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ORION  opined that  decision-making  with  regard to  either                                                               
having an  abortion or giving  birth should  be by the  one whose                                                               
life will be affected.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted that  the  bill  says a  parent,                                                               
legal guardian, or  custodian may not coerce a  minor into having                                                               
an abortion,  but doesn't speak  to coercing a minor  into giving                                                               
birth.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ORION said  he was merely trying to illustrate  that there is                                                               
a personal  decision that needs  to be made, and  that attempting                                                               
to  force a  child  to get  her parents'  permission  to have  an                                                               
abortion is  similar to attempting  to force  a child to  get her                                                               
parents' permission to have a baby or to have sex.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Following  was a  brief discussion  regarding how  the committee                                                               
would be proceeding.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:18:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOELLE HALL  relayed that she is  the mother of two  children - a                                                               
boy  and a  girl  - and  opposes  HB  364 on  many  levels.   She                                                               
elaborated:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I'll [start and  end] with the issue of  your desire to                                                                    
     help  me  parent.   When  you  boil  this down  to  its                                                                    
     essence, this  bill is designed  to extend  my parental                                                                    
     control as  long as possible,  long after - as  most of                                                                    
     us in  this room  will admit -  we quit  consulting our                                                                    
     parents  and started  making  decisions for  ourselves,                                                                    
     especially about the  opposite sex.  No  matter what we                                                                    
     want, the moment our children  decide to have sex, [it]                                                                    
     will happen  without us.   I know this because  I could                                                                    
     have told  my parents anything,  [but] did I  tell them                                                                    
     when I was ready  to have sex?  No.   Why?  Because, as                                                                    
     understanding  as  they  were,  it was  none  of  their                                                                    
     business.   If  I  had gotten  pregnant,  I would  have                                                                    
     worked  really hard  to solve  my own  problem and  not                                                                    
     tell them.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I really  hope my daughter  won't feel the same,  but I                                                                    
     can't predict that.   This bill just makes  it hard for                                                                    
     girls who  cannot or will  not tell their  parents that                                                                    
     they  are pregnant  [to] access  a ...  legal and  safe                                                                    
     abortion.  Teenagers,  being what they are  - girls who                                                                    
     cannot tell  their parents  or tell  anybody -  will do                                                                    
     whatever it takes to ...  end their pregnancy and still                                                                    
     not tell.   Teenagers  think they're immortal  and kids                                                                    
     are  full of  misinformation.   This  just forces  kids                                                                    
     into bad  situations, to look  to their peers  to solve                                                                    
     problems, and I  think that we can all  admit that that                                                                    
     is not the best place to go looking for answers.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL went on to say:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Your   desire   to   extend  my   parental   reach   is                                                                    
     understandable.   Some  people apparently  want to  use                                                                    
     the  government to  maintain our  roles as  parents and                                                                    
     advisor  after  nature  starts  to  drive  us  and  our                                                                    
     children apart.   But it won't  work.  And what  I mean                                                                    
     by  "apart" is,  they start  to  grow and  we start  to                                                                    
     cling  -  it's  the  human condition,  but  it  doesn't                                                                    
     change anything.   In  my opinion,  this bill  flies in                                                                    
     the face  of reality.   Your insistence  on controlling                                                                    
     our girls  will ironically result in  them resorting to                                                                    
     their  own  devices.   Teenagers  will  turn to  unsafe                                                                    
     methods  ... and  deal  with each  other  to end  their                                                                    
     unwanted pregnancies.   We all  want to be  involved in                                                                    
     these  important decisions,  [but] no  matter how  many                                                                    
     laws you pass trying to  help me parent, you can't make                                                                    
     my daughter tell me if she  doesn't want to.  This bill                                                                    
     might  actually  have  the  unintended  consequence  of                                                                    
     stifling, not encouraging, conversations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL, with  regard to the issue brain chemistry,  said that a                                                               
book titled  The Female Brain  speaks about the influence  of sex                                                             
hormones on the  unborn, on babies, on women, and  on women going                                                               
through menopause, as  well as speaking about  what teenage girls                                                               
are thinking  about:  sex.   Even so, girls think  about sex only                                                               
about 20 percent as  much as boys do, and so they  are kind of in                                                               
a difficult  situation.  With  regard to the piercing  and tattoo                                                               
analogy,  Ms. Hall  pointed out  that what  a teenager  can't get                                                               
without  their  parents'  permission   is  a  supervised,  clean,                                                               
licensed tattoo  or piercing -  teenagers can still get  a tattoo                                                               
[or piercing] from their friends  or from an unauthorized source.                                                               
That's what's at issue here, she opined, keeping [abortion] safe                                                                
and legal, or driving it underground.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:21:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANN  LINDSLEY relayed  that she  is  18 years  old, has  recently                                                               
graduated  from  high  school,  is now  out  of  state  attending                                                               
college,  and  would be  speaking  on  behalf of  teenage  girls.                                                               
Although  HB 364  would no  longer affect  her, she  remarked, it                                                               
would still affect some of her  friends in high school.  She went                                                               
on to say:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I  have a  great  relationship with  my  mother and  my                                                                    
     parents, and I  would naturally tell her even  now if I                                                                    
     needed an abortion,  but I fear for all  the girls that                                                                    
     can't.   This is a  very personal issue; it  should not                                                                    
     be State mandated.  Keeping  teenagers safe needs to be                                                                    
     the top  priority.   And in  my town  you can't  get an                                                                    
     abortion - you  can't even get an abortion  in the next                                                                    
     town over - you'd have to  go up to Anchorage, and most                                                                    
     teens would  need to get  their parents'  permission to                                                                    
     either drive through  Canada to get up  to Anchorage or                                                                    
     to get  ... a  plane ticket,  so they  need to  talk to                                                                    
     their parents anyways.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     So we need to make sure  [that on] their own terms they                                                                    
     talk  to their  parents.   We  need to  make sure  that                                                                    
     parents are willing  to talk to their kids.   Making it                                                                    
     State mandated  and putting it  into law will  not help                                                                    
     things.   And  then finally,  this idea  of going  to a                                                                    
     judge and  getting a court  order would  be excessively                                                                    
     complicated  -  especially  in my  town.    Getting  an                                                                    
     excuse from school, I  know the secretaries personally,                                                                    
     I know their kids - I'm  good friends with their kids -                                                                    
     and ... something  I know I wouldn't [want  to] have to                                                                    
     do is to go in and give a  note to get to miss class to                                                                    
     go  to court,  especially  if they'd  know the  reason.                                                                    
     It's  just something  I  find way  too  personal and  I                                                                    
     wouldn't want  the school  to be  able to  get involved                                                                    
     with that.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. LINDSLEY concluded:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     And  going to  court  and going  through a  complicated                                                                    
     process  just  seems like  way  too  much work  and  it                                                                    
     extends the  ... time  excessively.   I think  the most                                                                    
     important thing is  to be able to  keep teenagers safe,                                                                    
     and sometimes  that means  they don't/can't  tell their                                                                    
     parents, and  that's just  the way it  is. ...  I agree                                                                    
     with all who  have opposed [HB 364] and  I believe many                                                                    
     of them have made excellent points.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS indicated that HB 364 would be held over with                                                                      
public testimony remaining open.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:27 p.m.                                                                 

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