SB 91: "An Act relating to information and services available to pregnant women and other persons; and ensuring informed consent before an abortion may be performed, except in cases of medical emergency."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 91 01 "An Act relating to information and services available to pregnant women and other 02 persons; and ensuring informed consent before an abortion may be performed, except in 03 cases of medical emergency." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 18.05 is amended by adding a new section to read: 06 Sec. 18.05.032. Information relating to pregnancy and pregnancy 07 alternatives. (a) The department shall prepare a standard information pamphlet that 08 (1) contains geographically indexed material designed to inform a 09 person of public and private agencies and services that are available to assist a 10 pregnant woman with the woman's reproductive choices; the department should 11 include information about at least the following types of agencies and services: 12 (A) agencies and services designed to assist a woman through 13 pregnancy, including adoption agencies and counseling services; and 14 (B) clinics and facilities that provide abortion options and
01 counseling and post-abortion counseling and services; 02 (2) includes a comprehensive regional directory of the agencies and 03 clinics identified by the department under (1) of this subsection, a description of the 04 services they offer, and the manner in which the agencies and clinics may be 05 contacted, including telephone numbers; 06 (3) provides information concerning the circumstantial criteria for the 07 availability of medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal 08 care, as well as the circumstantial criteria for the availability of medical assistance 09 benefits for abortion services; 10 (4) states that a person who coerces a woman to undergo an abortion 11 may be prosecuted for a felony offense under AS 11.41.530; 12 (5) states that a physician who performs or induces an abortion on a 13 woman without obtaining the woman's informed consent may be liable to the woman 14 for damages in a civil action; 15 (6) states that the father of a child is liable to assist in the support of 16 the child even in instances where the father has offered to pay for an abortion, and that 17 the law permits adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal 18 care; 19 (7) describes the fetal development of a typical unborn child at two- 20 week gestational increments from fertilization to full-term, including photographs 21 depicting the anatomical characteristics of a typical unborn child at two-week 22 gestational increments, and relevant information about the possibility of an unborn 23 child's survival at the various gestational ages; the fetal dimensions in the photographs 24 must be accurately represented and shall be realistic and appropriate for the woman's 25 state of pregnancy; the information must be objective, nonjudgmental, and designed to 26 convey only accurate scientific information about unborn children at various 27 gestational ages; 28 (8) contains objective, unbiased information that describes the methods 29 of abortion procedures and treatments commonly employed and the medical risks and 30 possible complications commonly associated with each procedure and treatment, as 31 well as the possible psychological effects that have been associated with having an
01 abortion; 02 (9) contains objective, unbiased information describing the possible 03 medical risks and complications commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth, 04 as well as the possible psychological effects that have been associated with carrying a 05 child to term. 06 (b) The information required under (a) of this section must be written in easily 07 comprehensible language and must be printed in a typeface that is large enough to be 08 clearly legible. 09 (c) The department shall make the information required under (a) of this 10 section available free of charge on request and in appropriate volume to the requester. 11 (d) In this section, 12 (1) "fertilization" means the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a 13 human ovum; 14 (2) "gestational age" means the age of the unborn child as calculated 15 from the first day of the last menstrual period of a pregnant woman; 16 (3) "informed consent" means a voluntary and knowing decision to 17 undergo a specific procedure or treatment, based on at least the following information: 18 a description of the proposed treatment or procedure, reasonably foreseeable 19 complications and risks to the patient from the procedure, and the manner in which the 20 procedure and its foreseeable complications and risks compare with those of each 21 readily available alternative to the procedure; 22 (4) "unborn child" means the offspring of a human being in utero at 23 various stages of biological development. 24 * Sec. 2. AS 18.16.010(a) is amended to read: 25 (a) An abortion may not be performed in this state unless 26 (1) the abortion is performed by a physician or surgeon licensed by the 27 State Medical Board under AS 08.64.200; 28 (2) the abortion is performed in a hospital or other facility approved for 29 the purpose by the Department of Health and Social Services or a hospital operated by 30 the federal government or an agency of the federal government; 31 (3) before an abortion is knowingly performed or induced on an
01 unmarried, unemancipated woman under 17 years of age, consent has been given as 02 required under AS 18.16.020 or a court has authorized the minor to consent to the 03 abortion under AS 18.16.030 and the minor consents; for purposes of enforcing this 04 paragraph, there is a rebuttable presumption that a woman who is unmarried and under 05 17 years of age is unemancipated; [AND] 06 (4) the woman is domiciled or physically present in the state for 30 07 days before the abortion; and 08 (5) the applicable requirements of AS 18.16.060 have been 09 satisfied. 10 * Sec. 3. AS 18.16.010 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 11 (h) A person who performs or induces an abortion in violation of (a)(5) of this 12 section is civilly liable to the pregnant woman for compensatory and punitive 13 damages. In a civil action under this subsection, there is a rebuttable presumption that 14 an abortion was performed without the pregnant woman's informed consent if the 15 physician who performed the abortion does not submit into evidence the copy of the 16 woman's written certification required to be retained in the physician's files under 17 AS 18.16.060(b)(3). 18 * Sec. 4. AS 18.16 is amended by adding a new section to read: 19 Sec. 18.16.060. Informed consent requirements. (a) Except in the case of a 20 medical emergency, a person may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion 21 without the voluntary and informed consent of the woman on whom the abortion is to 22 be performed or induced. 23 (b) Consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed when all of the following 24 are true: 25 (1) before the abortion procedure, the physician who is to perform the 26 abortion or the referring physician has orally informed the woman of the 27 (A) name of the physician who will perform the procedure; 28 (B) gestational estimation of the pregnancy at the time the 29 abortion is to be performed; and 30 (C) nature and risks of undergoing or not undergoing the 31 proposed procedure that a reasonable patient would consider material to
01 making a voluntary and informed decision of whether to undergo the 02 procedure; 03 (2) before the abortion, the woman certifies in writing that the 04 information required to be given under (1) of this subsection has been provided; and 05 (3) the physician who is to perform the abortion or a representative of 06 the physician receives a copy of the written certificate required under (2) of this 07 subsection and retains a copy in the physician's file. 08 (c) The information required in (b)(1) of this section shall be provided to the 09 woman individually and in a private setting to protect the woman's privacy, maintain 10 the confidentiality of the woman's decision, ensure that the information focuses on the 11 woman's individual circumstances, and ensure that the woman has an adequate 12 opportunity to ask questions. 13 (d) In this section, 14 (1) "informed consent" means a voluntary and knowing decision to 15 undergo a specific procedure or treatment, based on at least the following information: 16 a description of the proposed treatment or procedure, reasonably foreseeable 17 complications and risks to the patient from the procedure, and the manner in which the 18 procedure and its foreseeable complications and risks compare with those of each 19 readily available alternative to the procedure; 20 (2) "medical emergency" means a condition that, on the basis of a 21 physician's good faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a 22 pregnant woman that 23 (A) the immediate termination of the woman's pregnancy is 24 necessary to avert the woman's death; or 25 (B) a delay in providing an abortion will create serious risk of 26 substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the 27 woman. 28 * Sec. 5. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 29 read: 30 SEVERABILITY. Under AS 01.10.030, the provisions of this Act are severable.