Legislature(2013 - 2014)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/30/2013 01:00 PM FINANCE


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Audio Topic
01:06:08 PM Start
01:08:32 PM SB49
02:33:09 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 49 MEDICAID PAYMENT FOR ABORTIONS; TERMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 30, 2013                                                                                            
                         1:06 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:06:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  called the Senate Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:06 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Anna Fairclough, Vice-Chair (via teleconference)                                                                        
Senator Mike Dunleavy (via teleconference)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Susan Schrader,  Self, Juneau;  George W.  Brown, Physician,                                                                    
Douglas;  Cynthia   Simpson-Sugar,  Self,   Juneau;  Joyanne                                                                    
Bloom,  Self, Juneau;  Rachel Gearhart,  Self, Juneau;  John                                                                    
Sonin,  Self, Juneau;  Ann  Fiorella,  Self, Juneau;  Alyson                                                                    
Currey, Juneau, Self.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Jim  Minnery,  Alaska  Family  Action,  Anchorage;  Jennifer                                                                    
Allen, Director  of Public Policy, Planned  Parenthood Great                                                                    
Northwest,  Seattle; Laura  Einstein,  Chief Legal  Officer,                                                                    
Planned Parenthood  Great Northwest, Seattle;  Paul Johnsen,                                                                    
Self, Petersburg; Kate Finn, Nurse,  Homer; Lynn Ammu, Self,                                                                    
Palmer;  Amy Bollenbach,  Self, Homer;  Diana Conway,  Self,                                                                    
Halibut Cove;  Jean James,  Self, Fairbanks;  Mary Kehrhahn-                                                                    
Stark,  Self,   Fairbanks;  Robin  Ford,   Self,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Eiluned   Hogenson,  Physician,   Fairbanks;  Karen   Lewis,                                                                    
Executive Director,  Center for Bio Ethical  Reform, Palmer;                                                                    
Dee   Longenbaugh,  Self,   Juneau;   Cathy  Girard,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Sheila  Howe,  Self,  Anchorage;  Clover  Simon,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage; Elann  Moren, Self,  Palmer; Robin  Smith,                                                                    
Self, Anchorage.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 49     MEDICAID PAYMENT FOR ABORTIONS; TERMS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          SB 49 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 49                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act defining 'medically necessary abortion' for                                                                        
     purposes of making payments under the state Medicaid                                                                       
     program."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:08:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM   MINNERY,   ALASKA   FAMILY  ACTION,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support  of SB  49. He  felt                                                                    
that SB 49  did not restrict a person's  access to abortion.                                                                    
He  pointed out  that SB  49  would not  restrict a  woman's                                                                    
right to an  elective an abortion. He stated that  SB 49 was                                                                    
intended to restrict  an abortion that is  paid for Medicaid                                                                    
to  be  considered  "medically necessary."  He  referred  to                                                                    
testimony   by  the   Chief  Legal   Counsel  from   Planned                                                                    
Parenthood.  He   shared  that  she  could   not  define  an                                                                    
"elective abortion."  He quoted Laura  Einstein's testimony,                                                                    
"With all  due respect,  I don't  know an  elective abortion                                                                    
is." He  felt that there  needed to be a  clearer definition                                                                    
of  "medically  necessary."  He  was  uncomfortable  with  a                                                                    
doctor  deeming  an   abortion  "medically  necessary"  just                                                                    
because a  woman felt a  pregnancy was interfering  with her                                                                    
life. He remarked  that if the state pays  for the abortion,                                                                    
Alaska might  be looked at  as endorsing the choice  to have                                                                    
an abortion. He stressed that  the bill's intent was related                                                                    
to definitions.  He felt that  the issue was  culture versus                                                                    
law.  He remarked  that Alaska  was working  hard to  ensure                                                                    
that  Medicaid was  not paying  for  elective abortions.  He                                                                    
felt  that it  was fraud  for Medicaid  to pay  for elective                                                                    
abortions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER   ALLEN,  DIRECTOR   OF   PUBLIC  POLICY,   PLANNED                                                                    
PARENTHOOD  GREAT NORTHWEST,  SEATTLE (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  opposition to  SB 49, to  protect the  freedom and                                                                    
privacy  of all  Alaska women,  no matter  their income,  to                                                                    
make  their own  pregnancy  decisions  in consultation  with                                                                    
their doctors.  She remarked that  Planned Parenthood  was a                                                                    
health care provider, whose mission  was to ensure access to                                                                    
high  quality  reproductive  health care.  She  stated  that                                                                    
Planned  Parenthood operated  five  health  care centers  in                                                                    
Alaska;  and served  over  7000 Alaskans  in  2011, and  two                                                                    
thirds  of those  people were  low  income individuals.  She                                                                    
stressed that the  vast majority of the  services focused on                                                                    
prevention; including cancer  screenings, birth control, and                                                                    
screening  for sexually  transmitted infections.  She shared                                                                    
that  Planned  Parenthood  was   also  a  provider  of  safe                                                                    
abortion care.  She explained that Planned  Parenthood could                                                                    
not  give a  definition of  an "elective  abortion", because                                                                    
that  Planned Parenthood  believed the  term "elective"  had                                                                    
been imbued with  negative value, and was used  to demean or                                                                    
shame women  who choose  to end  a pregnancy.  She furthered                                                                    
that  Planned  Parenthood could  not  give  a definition  of                                                                    
"medically  necessary", because  the only  person who  could                                                                    
answer  that question  would be  a physician.  She explained                                                                    
that Planned  Parenthood worked extensively  with Department                                                                    
of Health and  Social Services on a new  regulation that was                                                                    
established to add a layer  of extra certification to ensure                                                                    
that  Medicaid-paid  abortions   in  Alaska  were  medically                                                                    
necessary. She  felt that the legislation  would put women's                                                                    
health at risk  by deterring or delaying  women from seeking                                                                    
abortions in Alaska, for whatever  reason. She stressed that                                                                    
pregnancy  decisions  should be  made  by  a woman  and  her                                                                    
doctor.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:20:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  EINSTEIN,  CHIEF  LEGAL OFFICER,  PLANNED  PARENTHOOD                                                                    
GREAT  NORTHWEST,  SEATTLE (via  teleconference),  testified                                                                    
against SB  49, and  aligned her  testimony with  Ms. Allen.                                                                    
She  felt  that the  testimony  in  favor  of the  bill  was                                                                    
extremely  inaccurate.  She  shared that  the  2001  Supreme                                                                    
Court ruling stated that "if  the purpose of this definition                                                                    
was to  limit abortions or  to favor childbirth, it  was not                                                                    
constitutional." She felt that the  presentation of the bill                                                                    
did not reflect savings to  the State. She stressed that the                                                                    
bill was  not constitutional, because there  was no evidence                                                                    
that  denying  abortion care  would  save  the State  money;                                                                    
particularly  compared to  those cost  involved, if  some of                                                                    
the women  continue their pregnancy.  She stressed  that the                                                                    
2001 case  of Planned  Parenthood vs.  State of  Alaska, the                                                                    
Supreme  Court  concluded  that  the  State  was  unable  to                                                                    
articulate  the  compelling  need  to  discriminate  against                                                                    
women  seeking  abortions. She  felt  that  the same  result                                                                    
would occur, if the legislature adopted the legislation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:25:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL   JOHNSEN,  SELF,   PETERSBURG  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  opposition  to  SB  49.  He  stated  that  he                                                                    
believed the  right of all women  to choose what to  do with                                                                    
their  bodies,  and felt  that  Roe  v. Wade  affirmed  that                                                                    
right.  He  felt that  the  legislation  was an  attempt  to                                                                    
circumvent  Roe   v.  Wade.  He   did  not  feel   that  the                                                                    
legislature had  a right to  impose morality on  others, and                                                                    
remarked that  the bill would  have a detrimental  effect on                                                                    
poor  women. He  remarked  that the  legislature should  not                                                                    
spend  time on  this  legislation, because  there were  real                                                                    
government problems in the state that warranted attention.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:27:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  FINN,  NURSE,  HOMER (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
opposition  to SB  49. She  shared that  she had  worked for                                                                    
five years  as a sexual  assault nurse examiner.  She stated                                                                    
that the  legislature had guidelines  as to  what activities                                                                    
constitute rape  behavior; there was nothing  on who decided                                                                    
if  those activities  occurred  during  a particular  sexual                                                                    
encounter. She wondered how rape  was defined as "rape." She                                                                    
wondered if the rape was  decided based on the circumstances                                                                    
reported by  the woman; was  it a decision that  a physician                                                                    
or  an examiner  made, based  on the  reported incident  and                                                                    
physical findings;  was the  decision up  to the  police who                                                                    
may or may  not have been asked to respond  to the incident;                                                                    
does  the  decision  require witnesses  to  corroborate  the                                                                    
woman's report; does  a judge and jury  decide. She remarked                                                                    
that the  determination of  rape was  important to  when and                                                                    
whether  or not  a woman  could  use Medicaid  to obtain  an                                                                    
abortion.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:30:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNN AMMU,  SELF, PALMER (via teleconference),  testified in                                                                    
opposition  to  SB  49.  She shared  that  she  worked  with                                                                    
adoptions and foster care families.  She stressed that there                                                                    
is always a  grief reaction for a woman who  chooses to have                                                                    
an  abortion; but  there was  also  a grief  reaction for  a                                                                    
woman who  chooses to  give her child  up for  adoption. She                                                                    
explained that  the mother always  grieves for the  state of                                                                    
the child that she relinquished.  She stressed that the fate                                                                    
of  the adopted  child was  always a  concern and  source of                                                                    
worry for the  birth mother. She felt that  there should not                                                                    
be  limitation   on  abortions,  especially  for   poor  and                                                                    
minority women.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:33:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY BOLLENBACH,  SELF, HOMER (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition to SB 49. She  stressed that the cost of abortion                                                                    
was  much  less  than  financing   the  birth  and  personal                                                                    
expenses. She  agreed with the previous  testifiers, who had                                                                    
testified in opposition.  She felt that poor  woman have the                                                                    
same  rights  as men  and  rich  woman.  She referred  to  a                                                                    
request  from  Senator  McGuire from  Legislative  Research,                                                                    
which  reflected that  the  status of  women  in Alaska  was                                                                    
worse  than much  of the  rest of  the nation.  She stressed                                                                    
that  there  were  many Alaskan  women  who  were  homeless,                                                                    
because of  domestic violence. She felt  that these homeless                                                                    
women  would face  additional challenges,  if they  were not                                                                    
granted State funds for abortions.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:35:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANA  CONWAY,  SELF,  HALIBUT  COVE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  against SB  49.  She referred  to  her letter  of                                                                    
opposition (copy  on file).  She shared  that she  had given                                                                    
birth  twice, and  later  had an  abortion  after her  birth                                                                    
control  failed. She  stated that  she  had some  experience                                                                    
working very poor people and  families. She pointed out that                                                                    
when  women are  discriminated against,  they become  second                                                                    
class citizens,  and therefore  made women  more susceptible                                                                    
to  violence.  She  felt  that  SB  49  was  discriminatory,                                                                    
because it only  chooses one medical procedure  for which to                                                                    
define  the term  "medically necessary."  She remarked  that                                                                    
the bill  did not describe  any procedures that  men obtain.                                                                    
She stressed  that the decisions  were made between  the man                                                                    
and  his  doctor;  which  was  were  the  decision  properly                                                                    
belonged.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:37:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEAN JAMES,  SELF, FAIRBANKS (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition to SB  49. She shared that she grew  up in a time                                                                    
when  abortion  was  illegal.  She  felt  that  it  was  the                                                                    
physician's   decision  to   determine  was   it  considered                                                                    
medically   necessary,  and   not   the   decision  of   the                                                                    
legislature. She remarked that the  bill would be subject to                                                                    
expensive litigation. She felt that  the money could be used                                                                    
towards pregnancy prevention care.  She shared that her late                                                                    
husband would have been opposed to SB 49.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY KEHRHAHN-STARK,  SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to  SB 49. She  felt that  poor and                                                                    
rich people should  be given equal protection  under the law                                                                    
as ruled by  the Alaska Supreme Court. She  remarked that an                                                                    
unplanned  pregnancy was  not an  issue to  be discussed  by                                                                    
politicians; she felt  that it was an issue  to be discussed                                                                    
between a woman and her doctor.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:42:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN SCHRADER, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in opposition to SB 49.                                                                    
She felt  that the  decisions should be  left to  the woman,                                                                    
her  family, her  physician. She  stressed that  neither she                                                                    
nor her  husband had ever discussed  their medical treatment                                                                    
options  with their  legislators.  She  understood that  her                                                                    
testimony  would not  sway  those  that are  philosophically                                                                    
opposed to abortion rights.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:44:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE   W.   BROWN,   PHYSICIAN,  DOUGLAS,   testified   in                                                                    
opposition to SB  49. He understood that the  issue was very                                                                    
complicated. He  remarked that abortions were  the result of                                                                    
mental health and behavioral health  issues. He felt that it                                                                    
was  scientifically  inaccurate   to  differentiate  between                                                                    
mental and  physical health.  He stressed  that there  was a                                                                    
better way to deal with the  problem. He felt that the issue                                                                    
was confrontational and controversial.  He stressed that the                                                                    
focus  should be  on decreasing  unwanted pregnancy  through                                                                    
prevention.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:47:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA   SIMPSON-SUGAR,   SELF,    JUNEAU,   testified   in                                                                    
opposition  to SB  49.  She  shared that  she  had lived  in                                                                    
Alaska for  40 years. She  stressed that only a  trained and                                                                    
licensed  physician  had the  right  to  determine what  was                                                                    
medically  necessary for  their  patients.  She shared  that                                                                    
Alaskans  valued  freedom,  privacy, and  independence.  She                                                                    
felt  that  SB  49  would interfere  with  the  private  and                                                                    
autonomous patient and doctor  relationship. She stated that                                                                    
the  legislation would  erode  the ability  of the  patient,                                                                    
their  medical doctor,  and their  family to  privately make                                                                    
the  best  medical  decisions.  She  felt  that  SB  49  was                                                                    
discriminatory,  because  it   limited  reproductive  health                                                                    
options for  those who  relied on  the government  for their                                                                    
health care.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:50:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYANNE  BLOOM,  SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke  against  SB  49.  She                                                                    
shared that she  taught Government in school.  She felt that                                                                    
SB 49 would  be a terrible teaching tool.  She remarked that                                                                    
the bill  would show  a disregard  to the  constitution. She                                                                    
felt the  committee needed to  focus on the  priorities. She                                                                    
remarked that an unplanned pregnancy  was not an issue to be                                                                    
discussed by politicians;  she felt that it was  an issue to                                                                    
be discussed between a woman and her doctor.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:53:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RACHEL GEARHART,  SELF, JUNEAU,  testified in  opposition to                                                                    
SB 49. She  felt that if the bill passed,  there would still                                                                    
be  unplanned  pregnancies,  which would  result  in  higher                                                                    
social  services  costs.  She pointed  out  that  behavioral                                                                    
health   providers   must   attest  to   medical   necessary                                                                    
treatments,  as defined  by  the  consumer's specific  taken                                                                    
into consideration.  She remarked  that that a  blanket list                                                                    
of medically  necessary criteria  could not  adequately meet                                                                    
the requirement  that were so  personal between a  woman and                                                                    
her  doctor.  She  reiterated   Dr.  Brown's  comments.  She                                                                    
pointed  out  that  daughters  born  to  young,  low-income,                                                                    
unprepared cycles repeat their mother's cycle.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:56:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SONIN, SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in opposition to SB 49.                                                                    
He  agreed with  many of  the previous  testifiers. He  felt                                                                    
that the bill's  consideration should be based  on logic. He                                                                    
felt that  education should be  the focus of  the committee,                                                                    
and  added  that  the  new  oil  tax  legislation  was  also                                                                    
unnecessary.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:01:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN FORD,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition to SB  49. She remarked that she  was planning on                                                                    
practicing medicine  in the state  upon her  graduation from                                                                    
medical school.  She felt that  the bill would  come between                                                                    
decisions between  patients and their doctors.  She remarked                                                                    
that  there  are  no  good   reasons  why  women  should  be                                                                    
discriminated against as related  to their ability to afford                                                                    
health care. She stressed that  the Alaska Supreme Court had                                                                    
upheld that  the Alaska Constitution protected  the right to                                                                    
privacy for individuals, especially  between a woman and her                                                                    
doctor.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
EILUNED     HOGENSON,      PHYSICIAN,     FAIRBANKS     (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  against  the  legislation.  She                                                                    
believed the  bill was poorly  crafted and was too  broad to                                                                    
accomplish  anything.   She  discussed   medical  conditions                                                                    
pointed  to under  the bill  and items  that were  medically                                                                    
questionable.   She   explained    conditions   that   could                                                                    
potentially be  fatal for pregnant  women. She  wondered who                                                                    
would decide  what was serious;  and remarked that  the bill                                                                    
would create  confusion. She spoke to  traumatic experiences                                                                    
for pregnant women.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  LEWIS, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  CENTER  FOR BIO  ETHICAL                                                                    
REFORM, PALMER (via teleconference),  spoke in support of SB                                                                    
49. She felt  that abortion was violent,  and killed babies.                                                                    
She  likened children  in the  womb to  slavery. She  stated                                                                    
that  the children  in  the  womb were  not  a  part of  the                                                                    
mother's  body, because  they had  their own  unique genetic                                                                    
make-up.  She remarked  that  the  children were  destroyed,                                                                    
because they had  been deemed the property  of their mother;                                                                    
the mother then deemed them  unwanted and "sentenced them to                                                                    
death." She  felt that abortion  had no place in  the United                                                                    
States.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:11:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEE   LONGENBAUGH,   SELF,  JUNEAU   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  opposition  to  SB 49.  She  referred  to  an                                                                    
article in Harper's Magazine that  stated that the bible was                                                                    
not against  abortion. She referred  to Exodus in  the bible                                                                    
that stated  that killing a  baby through  abortion resulted                                                                    
in  the  payment of  a  fine.  Abortion was  not  considered                                                                    
murder in Roman times.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:12:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHY  GIRARD, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against  SB  49.  She reiterated  the  previous  testifiers'                                                                    
comments  related to  the Alaska  Supreme Court  decision on                                                                    
privacy.  She   felt  that   legislators  should   not  make                                                                    
decisions about  health care and health  determinations. She                                                                    
stressed the importance of providing  easier access to birth                                                                    
control for  men and women,  in order to  prevent pregnancy.                                                                    
She added that comprehensive  sex education was necessary to                                                                    
preventing unwanted pregnancies.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:15:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHEILA  HOWE, SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against SB 49.  She remarked that there  were many different                                                                    
ways  to   prevent  abortion,  specifically   pertaining  to                                                                    
preventative  care and  sex education.  She  also felt  that                                                                    
limiting early  childhood education funding  was detrimental                                                                    
to  the  well-being  of poor  families.  She  remarked  that                                                                    
education was  the key  to preventing  unwanted pregnancies.                                                                    
She stressed  that the  bill would  not solve  any problems,                                                                    
and would only add to the greater burden on the State.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:17:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLOVER   SIMON,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to SB  49. She urged  the committee                                                                    
to vote  against the legislation.  She remarked  that Alaska                                                                    
should have healthy families, rather  than the highest rates                                                                    
of child abuse and neglect in  the nation. She felt that the                                                                    
focus should  be on prevention,  and remarked  that abortion                                                                    
was  a symptom  of individuals  of people  who did  not have                                                                    
access  to proper  prevention and  education.  She urged  an                                                                    
expansion of family planning services through Medicaid.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:21:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELANN  MOREN, SELF,  PALMER (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in opposition to SB 49.  She stressed that poor women should                                                                    
have  the same  rights  and opportunities  of everyone.  She                                                                    
felt that  the passage  of the bill  would result  in higher                                                                    
numbers of illegal abortions. She  shared that she was raped                                                                    
when  she  was 17,  and  did  not  have  access to  a  legal                                                                    
abortion. She shared her story  in the Anchorage Daily News.                                                                    
She felt  that the  bill was unfair,  and stressed  that the                                                                    
decision to have an abortion  was extremely complicated. She                                                                    
agreed   with   the   testimony  from   Planned   Parenthood                                                                    
representatives.  She reiterated  that the  decision on  the                                                                    
legislation  should  be  based   on  reason  and  not  moral                                                                    
judgment.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:24:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN SMITH, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
opposition  to  SB  49. She  remarked  that  individual  tax                                                                    
payers do not pay for  abortions, rather Medicaid funds came                                                                    
from oil  tax dollars.  She stated that  there was  a recent                                                                    
negative report  from Legislative Research about  women. She                                                                    
pointed  out that  Alaska had  one of  the highest  rates of                                                                    
domestic  violence;  and  Alaskan women  commit  suicide  at                                                                    
twice  the rate  of the  national average.  She also  stated                                                                    
that there were many families  in Alaska that were homeless.                                                                    
She stated  that if  these issues  were compounded  with the                                                                    
lower employee pay for women, one  could see why a woman may                                                                    
not  realize financial,  emotional, or  physical where-with-                                                                    
all to  deliver and care for  a child in her  life. She felt                                                                    
that a woman  should not be forced to carry  a child to term                                                                    
and potential risk her health.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:29:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANN  FIORELLA, SELF,  JUNEAU, testified  against SB  49. She                                                                    
stated that there was nothing  in the legislation related to                                                                    
fetal anomalies. She shared that  a member of her family had                                                                    
recently  obtained  an abortion,  because  the  baby had  no                                                                    
brain. She believed that not  including that information was                                                                    
wrong.  She  believed  the  list   of  what  was  considered                                                                    
"medically necessary" was ridiculous.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSON CURREY,  JUNEAU, SELF, spoke in  strong opposition to                                                                    
SB 49.  She stressed that  if the bill was  about redefining                                                                    
the  definition, that  politicians  should not  be the  ones                                                                    
defining the terms.  She stated that the  decision should be                                                                    
left to a  woman, her family, doctor, and  faith. She stated                                                                    
that  politicians  had  no  business  making  decisions  for                                                                    
women's  medical life.  She reiterated  that if  legislators                                                                    
want to reduce the number  of abortions in Alaska, the focus                                                                    
should  be related  to increased  access to  family planning                                                                    
service and sex education.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer CLOSED public testimony. He discussed that                                                                       
the bill would be heard again on Monday.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:33:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:33 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 49 Written Public Testimony 033013.pdf SFIN 3/30/2013 1:00:00 PM
SB 49
FW Comments on SB 49 for the Senate Finance Committee hearing.msg SFIN 3/30/2013 1:00:00 PM
SB 49
FW SB49 Senate Finance Hearing testimony.msg SFIN 3/30/2013 1:00:00 PM
SB 49