Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

02/19/2018 01:30 PM Senate HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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01:30:40 PM Start
01:31:06 PM SB124
02:58:22 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 124 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
          SB 124-ABORTION PROCEDURES; CHILD SURRENDER                                                                       
1:31:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of SB 124.                                                                             
SENATOR CATHY  GIESSEL, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor  of SB
124, said  the bill offers  mothers who  are faced with  a crisis                                                               
pregnancy another option. If a  baby has reached viability or has                                                               
the opportunity for  viability, the bill calls  for the physician                                                               
performing the abortion to give  the baby the best opportunity to                                                               
survive. A  child born  alive as  a result  of an  abortion shall                                                               
receive  the  same  degree  of   professional  skill,  care,  and                                                               
diligence. This is the opposite of  a Do Not Resuscitate order. A                                                               
child born  alive as a result  of an abortion may  be surrendered                                                               
to a physician  or an employee of the hospital  or facility where                                                               
the abortion  is performed  and will  be regarded  as a  Child in                                                               
Need of Aid. This assumes that  the parent is unwilling or unable                                                               
to care  for the child,  although that may  not be the  case. The                                                               
bill has an immediate effective date.                                                                                           
She noted that  in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S.  113 (1973), the Supreme                                                               
Court maintained  that the  state has  an interest  in protecting                                                               
the life of a fetus after  viability--that is, after the point at                                                               
which the fetus is capable of living outside the womb.                                                                          
SENATOR GIESSEL  said that is  the foundation of bill,  the point                                                               
of viability. She quoted from the Roe v. Wade decision:                                                                         
     "With respect  to the State's important  and legitimate                                                                    
     interest in  potential life, the "compelling"  point is                                                                    
     at  viability.  This  is  so  because  the  fetus  then                                                                    
     presumably  has  the   capability  of  meaningful  life                                                                    
     outside the mother's womb."                                                                                                
     "State  regulation  protective   of  fetal  life  after                                                                    
     viability   thus  has   both  logical   and  biological                                                                    
     justifications.   If  the   State   is  interested   in                                                                    
     protecting  fetal life  after viability,  it may  go so                                                                    
     far  as  to  proscribe   (forbid,  especially  by  law)                                                                    
     abortion  during   that  period,  except  when   it  is                                                                    
     necessary  to  preserve  the  life  or  health  of  the                                                                    
1:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL said  SB  124  is all  about  the definition  of                                                               
viability. She quoted from the  following case in which the court                                                               
upholds the viability definition.                                                                                               
     Planned  Parenthood of  Central  Missouri v.  Danforth,                                                                    
     428 U.S. 52, 63 (1976), 410 U. S., at 160, 163                                                                             
     In  Roe,  we  used   the  term  "viable,"  properly  we                                                                    
     thought, to  signify the  point at  which the  fetus is                                                                    
     "potentially able  to live  outside the  mother's womb,                                                                    
     albeit with artificial aid,"  and presumably capable of                                                                    
     "meaningful life outside the mother's womb,".                                                                              
SENATOR GIESSEL quoted from the following case:                                                                                 
     Whitner v.  State of  South Carolina,  328 S.C.  1, 7-8                                                                    
     (S.C.1997)  Facing  the  issue   of  when  a  fetus  is                                                                    
     entitled to  protection, the court  held that  a viable                                                                    
     fetus  was   a  "person"   for  the  purposes   of  the                                                                    
     Children's Code.                                                                                                           
She said most people are not  that informed about what happens as                                                               
a  child  develops  in  utero.  She  referenced  a  graphic  that                                                               
describes development at different weeks of fetal age.                                                                          
She pointed out that the graphs  in her presentation are from the                                                               
Mayo foundation. She described how  the graph shows the formation                                                               
of  fingerprints and  footprints  at 14  weeks,  right after  the                                                               
first  trimester.  Before  14  weeks,  abortions  are  usually  a                                                               
vacuum-type procedure.  At 14 weeks  the baby is often  too large                                                               
for that procedure and a procedure called dismemberment is done.                                                                
1:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  described a graph of  a baby at 23  weeks, close                                                               
to six months.  She said the eyes have begun  blinking, the heart                                                               
and  blood  vessels  have  formed,  and  fingerprints  are  fully                                                               
developed. When she applied for  a concealed carry permit and her                                                               
nursing  license, she  had  to submit  to  a criminal  background                                                               
check, which  required her fingerprints. Fingerprints  are viewed                                                               
as a unique  identifier for each human being. By  four months and                                                               
certainly by six months, these babies have fingerprints.                                                                        
She  said  by   five  months,  a  baby  is   sucking  its  thumb,                                                               
stretching,  yawning,  and  making faces.  The  mother  certainly                                                               
feels  this  little   person  moving,  she  said.   By  20  weeks                                                               
documentation indicates that they can feel pain.                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  said at  27 weeks  of age,  closing in  on eight                                                               
months of  age, the central  nervous system is  functioning. They                                                               
weigh  about  four  pounds.  At  eight  months--eyes  wide  open,                                                               
toenails, fingernails, beginning  to form a fat  layer, the brain                                                               
is completely  developed and the  lungs are nearly  developed. At                                                               
this  point  in  Alaska  this  child is  still  eligible  for  an                                                               
abortion  procedure because  Alaska has  no limit  on gestational                                                               
age for abortion, she said.  At four pounds, only a dismemberment                                                               
procedure can be used.                                                                                                          
She said she  would not describe the procedure in  detail, but it                                                               
can  be  imagined.   The  bill,  very  simply,   gives  the  best                                                               
opportunity  for  the  unborn  child  who  reaches  viability  to                                                               
survive birth, requiring professional skill  and care to be given                                                               
to  the child.  She  said some  will make  the  claim that  these                                                               
children  really   cannot  survive.  In  fact,   medical  science                                                               
improves daily. She  referred to a chart that shows  more than 50                                                               
percent  opportunity  of  viability  after 25  weeks,  about  six                                                               
months gestational age.                                                                                                         
1:41:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL referred  to a graph that shows  states that have                                                               
viability  defined by  weeks  of gestation.  She  noted that  the                                                               
graph does  not have the  latest information, and 23  states have                                                               
time-specific  dates of  viability  and 20  states  use the  term                                                               
protection at  viability. The graph shows  foreign countries that                                                               
have limits  on abortion procedures  tied to points  of potential                                                               
viability. She shared  that the source of the  information on the                                                               
graph,  the  Guttmacher  Institute,  is  actually  a  proabortion                                                               
organization, not a  Right to Life group, to make  the point that                                                               
this is factual information.                                                                                                    
She said this bill gives mothers,  who for one reason or another,                                                               
are faced with that difficult  choice, another option, to deliver                                                               
a  preterm child  that has  that opportunity  of viability  to be                                                               
delivered in such  a way that they could survive.  That mom could                                                               
elect to surrender the child, who  will become a Child in Need of                                                               
Aid (CINA). The  bill has an immediate effective  date. There are                                                               
real people, real  children, today who have  been delivered early                                                               
and are leading healthy, productive lives.                                                                                      
She  described the  bill  as interesting  because  of the  groups                                                               
opposing it.  On the one  hand, Planned Parenthood is  opposed to                                                               
it. Alaska  Right to Life is  against it too because  it does not                                                               
ban abortion and  they opine it only saves one  or two lives. She                                                               
referred to the  movie, Schindler's List, that told  the story of                                                               
Oskar Schindler, a  German businessman who employed  Jews to work                                                               
in  his factories  because they  were cheap  labor during  WW II.                                                               
When  he saw  Nazis slaughtering  Jews,  he realized  he had  the                                                               
opportunity  to save  lives. He  used his  fortune to  bribe Nazi                                                               
guards  and assign  more Jewish  workers  to his  factory, so  he                                                               
could save lives. After the war,  the Jewish survivors gave him a                                                               
ring  inscribed with  a saying  from  the Talmud,".  . .  whoever                                                               
saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."                                                                 
1:45:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  showed a picture  of Margot Schlesinger,  one of                                                               
the survivors,  and her many  descendants as an example  of every                                                               
life mattering.                                                                                                                 
KARI   NORE,  Staff,   Senator   Cathy   Giessel,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, presented  the sectional on  SB 124                                                               
on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                       
     Section   1:  Amends   AS  18.16.010   by  adding   new                                                                  
     subsections  to  provide for  a  physician  to use  the                                                                    
     method of terminating the  pregnancy that best provides                                                                    
     for the  unborn child  to survive outside  the mother's                                                                    
     womb. It  requires health practitioners present  at the                                                                    
     procedure to  exercise the same degree  of professional                                                                    
     practice  and diligence  to preserve  the  life of  the                                                                    
     viable child born as would  be provided to a child born                                                                    
     through   the  course   of   natural  birth.   Provides                                                                    
     definitions    for   "alive,"    "clinical   judgment,"                                                                    
       ertilization," and "fetal age."                                                                                          
     Section  2: Amends  AS 18.16  by adding  a new  section                                                                  
     that would allow a parent  of a child born alive during                                                                    
     the process of an abortion  to surrender the child to a                                                                    
     physician or  employee of the  hospital. The  person to                                                                    
     whom  the child  had been  surrendered will  notify the                                                                    
     Department of  Health and  Social Services  as required                                                                    
     under AS 47.10.013(d).                                                                                                     
     Section 3: Amends AS 47.10.011  and adds a provision in                                                                  
     the Child  in Need  of Aid (CINA)  statue to  include a                                                                    
     child born alive during the  termination of a pregnancy                                                                    
     whose parent  is unwilling  or unable  to care  for the                                                                    
     Section 4: Adds an  applicability provision that states                                                                  
     that  AS   18.16.010(k)-(m),  added   by  Sec.   1,  AS                                                                    
     18.16.012,  added  by  Sec. 2,  and  AS  47.10.011,  as                                                                    
       amended by Sec. 3 apply to abortions performed or                                                                        
        induced on or after the effective dates of those                                                                        
      Section 5: Provides for an immediate effective date                                                                     
     for this Act.                                                                                                              
1:48:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE commented  that he and Senator  Giessel are both                                                               
unabashedly  prolife.  He  asked  how many  states  have  legally                                                               
upheld bans on elective abortions in the third trimester.                                                                       
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said three  states  have  identified the  third                                                               
trimester  as  the  stopping  point  for  abortions.  Recently  a                                                               
Congressional bill  just like this  bill, with a  few exceptions,                                                               
that banned  most abortions after  20 weeks of pregnancy  did not                                                               
pass the Senate,  51-46. In the meantime, the  U.S. Supreme Court                                                               
verified the  ban on abortion  after viability not too  long ago.                                                               
Eight states  passed laws banning abortion  after viability. Only                                                               
two of those  states have bills that are enforced  right now. The                                                               
laws in other states are under court challenge.                                                                                 
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  if viability  applies  before the  third                                                               
trimester in most cases.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  GIESSEL  referred  to  him  to  the  graph  showing  the                                                               
survival rate  of premature babies on  slide 17. By 26  weeks the                                                               
survival  rate is  over  60  percent and  for  24  weeks over  50                                                               
percent. She reiterated that Alaska has no limit in place.                                                                      
SENATOR VON IMHOF  asked who defines viability  and if physicians                                                               
have any protections for deciding a fetus is not viable.                                                                        
SENATOR GIESSEL said this bill  places that decision in the hands                                                               
of  the  physician. It  differs  from  the proposed  federal  law                                                               
because  it  does not  define  a  particular week.  The  proposed                                                               
federal law  had a  penalty for physicians;  this bill  does not.                                                               
She is trusting the ethics of  physicians in Alaska and the sworn                                                               
duty to do no harm.                                                                                                             
1:53:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR VON IMHOF asked if she  sees a scenario where a physician                                                               
can be liable if he or  she makes a decision about viability that                                                               
someone disagrees with.                                                                                                         
SENATOR GIESSEL  said she is not  an attorney and she  is certain                                                               
attorneys will find  some way, but that is not  the intent of the                                                               
bill. Nothing  in the  bill creates a  liability because  it does                                                               
not specify a gestational age.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  VON IMHOF  asked  if it  will  help alleviate  potential                                                               
misunderstanding about  the intent  of bill if  it did  include a                                                               
gestational age.                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL said  she would  welcome an  amendment to  put a                                                               
time  in.  She chose  not  to  include  a  penalty but  would  be                                                               
amenable to that amendment if someone offered it.                                                                               
SENATOR BEGICH  asked whether  she had  considered the  impact on                                                               
medical  malpractice insurance  because of  the ambiguity  around                                                               
when a doctor has to determine viability.                                                                                       
SENATOR GIESSEL  said obstetrics  is a  high-liability profession                                                               
to begin with.  It is left to the judgment  of the physician. She                                                               
doesn't see that the bill increases their liability in any way.                                                                 
1:56:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  mentioned the phrase "unable"  or "unwilling" and                                                               
asked if a parent were willing  but unable, if the state would be                                                               
obligated  to  place  that  child  in a  Child  in  Need  of  Aid                                                               
SENATOR GIESSEL  said many parents  who feel unable to  take care                                                               
of a  child somehow manage and  are able to raise  some wonderful                                                               
kids.  A former  neurosurgeon was  raised by  a mother  unable to                                                               
read. That  mom probably  would have  said it  was more  than she                                                               
could do,  but she did it.  It is the parent  who decides whether                                                               
they are unwilling or unable to raise the child.                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said he had  a conflict with the  statement "best                                                               
to survive." He asked if this  will restrict choices for a doctor                                                               
to choose  a procedure that  might be  less risky for  the mother                                                               
but makes it less likely that the fetus will survive.                                                                           
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said  she  was  struggling  to  understand  the                                                               
question. The  best method of  delivery for the child  to survive                                                               
is placing  a child  in the head  down position,  inducing labor,                                                               
and delivering  the child. If there  are placental abnormalities,                                                               
it might involve  a C-section. That is all up  to the experienced                                                               
and knowledgeable clinician.                                                                                                    
1:59:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  asked  if  this   means  that  the  fetus  takes                                                               
preference  over the  patient, if  a doctor  has to  make a  call                                                               
about which is more important.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  GIESSEL said  let them  review the  scenario. This  is a                                                               
woman  facing a  brutal decision  of delivering  a baby  early or                                                               
abortion, which  in these age-weeks involve  dismemberment of the                                                               
child's body  to remove it  from the  uterus. This is  a mother's                                                               
choice. The physician will care for  both patients to the best of                                                               
his ability.  She cannot  predict what  those decisions  will be.                                                               
She expects most likely it will be in favor of the mother.                                                                      
2:00:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH said  the wording in the  bill specifically states                                                               
for the  fetus to  best survive.  He said he  wanted to  be clear                                                               
about that.                                                                                                                     
MS. NORE  said the bill  states on page  1, starting on  line 10,                                                               
"the  method of  terminating  the pregnancy  does  not present  a                                                               
serious risk to the life or health of the pregnant woman."                                                                      
SENATOR  BEGICH  asked   if  there  was  an   estimate  from  the                                                               
Department of  Law about  what litigation  might entail  for this                                                               
legislation. He asked if that was something normally done.                                                                      
SENATOR GIESSEL  said there is  no expectation that this  will be                                                               
litigated. The  Department of Law  doesn't usually opine  on what                                                               
litigation  might cost.  She said  she just  saw the  fiscal note                                                               
from DHSS and found it  interesting that they assume that preterm                                                               
infants  would   be  disabled.  She   maintained  that   was  not                                                               
necessarily the case.                                                                                                           
CHAIR WILSON  said that assumption  raised his eyebrows  also. He                                                               
asked how  many children would  be disabled. He  wondered whether                                                               
it was  a worst-case scenario  to not underestimate the  cost. He                                                               
suggested it might be taken up in another committee.                                                                            
SENATOR  MICCICHE  said  there  is  a  low  probability  of  this                                                               
situation.  Page   6  of  the   2016  State  of   Alaska  Induced                                                               
Termination of Pregnancy Statistics  states that nearly all, 99.5                                                               
percent of  induced terminations, were  performed at 13  weeks or                                                               
less  gestational   age.  In  2013,   91.6  percent   of  induced                                                               
terminations  performed in  the U.S.  involved pregnancies  of 13                                                               
weeks or less. He said  he appreciates the approach of viability.                                                               
He said he  has to think about whether that  term is clear enough                                                               
or whether gestational weeks is needed.                                                                                         
SENATOR  GIESSEL  suggested  he  look  at page  11  of  the  2016                                                               
document, the  last row on  Table 8a  is "Not Stated."  Those are                                                               
most  likely  falling in  those  later  weeks of  gestation.  The                                                               
clinician  chose not  to state  the  gestational age,  but it  is                                                               
decreasing and after about 17-20 weeks,  they are looking at 6 in                                                               
2016. It  is not volumes and  volumes. About 5.7 percent  fell in                                                               
that category in 2016. She  reiterated what the Talmud said, "One                                                               
who saves a life, it's as if he saved an entire world."                                                                         
2:05:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON opened public testimony on SB 124.                                                                                 
2:06:56 PM                                                                                                                    
RACHEL GEARHART, representing self, opposed  SB 124. She said she                                                               
is  a social  worker. She  noticed slide  17, premature  survival                                                               
rate, has  Australian statistics.  She suggested looking  at U.S.                                                               
survival  rates  statistics.  She expressed  confusion  with  the                                                               
bill. If termination  is needed as determined by a  woman and her                                                               
highly educated  medical provider,  she questioned why  would her                                                               
abortion  procedure turn  into a  delivery  for a  child she  has                                                               
determined she is unable to care  for. The woman does not need to                                                               
justify it to anyone. She posited  that a baby born alive in this                                                               
scenario is likely to require  significant medical care. She said                                                               
the medical  care in the  attached supporting  documentation, the                                                               
New York Times article [Premature  Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks                                                               
if Treated,  Study Finds]  is probably  not available  in Alaska.                                                               
The closest  level IV NICU  [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit]  is in                                                               
Seattle. The  article states  that many babies,  if they  do make                                                               
it, will survive with severe  handicaps. She pointed out that the                                                               
foster  care  system  is   already  overburdened  with  perfectly                                                               
healthy  children. Foster  families  who can  work with  children                                                               
with complex medical  needs are not in high supply.  If any fetus                                                               
were  born alive  and turned  over  to the  Office of  Children's                                                               
Services, this  fiscal note would be  grossly underestimated, she                                                               
said.  She cautioned  against  getting between  a  woman and  her                                                               
provider  and  suggested focusing  instead  on  a workable  state                                                               
budget that supports  state residents who are already  in need of                                                               
safety and security.                                                                                                            
2:10:06 PM                                                                                                                    
ALYSON  CURREY,  Legislative  Liaison, Planned  Parenthood  Votes                                                               
Northwest  and Hawaii,  opposed SB  124.  She said  SB 124  would                                                               
limit abortions later in pregnancy  and restrict doctors' ability                                                               
to exercise their  professional expertise about what  is best for                                                               
their patients. Nearly 99 percent  of abortions take place before                                                               
21 weeks,  well before fetal  viability. When later  abortions do                                                               
occur,  this  bill  would  force physicians  to  alter  how  they                                                               
practice medicine to prioritize the  fetus over the health of the                                                               
woman. It forces health care  providers to substitute the will of                                                               
the legislature for their ability  to use their medical expertise                                                               
to treat each of their patients  on a case-by-case basis. It is a                                                               
dangerous,  unsafe, unfounded  precedent, motivated  by politics,                                                               
not  medicine. She  said  this bill  attacks  women and  families                                                               
already  facing   the  heart  wrenching  decision   of  ending  a                                                               
pregnancy.  Abortions later  in  pregnancy  are performed  almost                                                               
exclusively   in  cases   of  serious   and  catastrophic   fetal                                                               
abnormalities.  This bill  is a  cruel  restriction for  families                                                               
already facing tragic circumstances.                                                                                            
2:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SONJA  BARNARD-GRAVEL, representing  self,  opposed  SB 124.  She                                                               
said  medical  procedures  should  be left  to  doctors  and  the                                                               
desires of  their patients. As a  young Alaskan woman, she  has a                                                               
close  relationship  with  her  doctor  and  trusts  her  medical                                                               
expertise.  It frightens  her that  if  this bill  is passed,  it                                                               
would limit the care she and  other doctors can provide for their                                                               
patients.  Late-term abortions  are  almost  always performed  in                                                               
cases where  the woman or fetus  is in danger. This  bill tells a                                                               
woman  she is  incapable of  making  her own  decisions. It  also                                                               
places  another  child  in an  already  overcrowded  foster  care                                                               
2:13:42 PM                                                                                                                    
LIZ RANGEL,  representing self,  opposed SB 124.  She said  it is                                                               
inappropriate  to  make  decisions  about a  women's  body  in  a                                                               
political  setting. The  sole purpose  of  the bill  is to  place                                                               
obstacles  between a  woman and  access to  a safe  abortion. The                                                               
bill is purposefully  vague and encourages physicians  to place a                                                               
woman's  life  and  well-being  second  to the  fetus.  It  is  a                                                               
dangerous bill. She  wants to see the Senate  value Alaskan women                                                               
and their lives when it votes.                                                                                                  
2:14:46 PM                                                                                                                    
BRENAE BAKER,  representing self,  opposed SB  124. She  said the                                                               
bill is  offensive, condescending,  and medically  inaccurate. It                                                               
is a waste of time  and resources for constituents and taxpayers.                                                               
Focus on actual work to better communities and the state.                                                                       
2:15:21 PM}                                                                                                                   
ALYSSA QUINTYNE, representing self, opposed  SB 124. She said the                                                               
terminology  in the  bill is  medically  ambiguous and  conflicts                                                               
with the  medical profession's ability  to provide  adequate care                                                               
for  their  patients.  The language  confuses  the  procedure  of                                                               
removal vs. live birth and does  not define what live birth means                                                               
for the  fetus. It burdens state  and legal agencies to  care for                                                               
premature and medically sensitive infants.  This is not a family-                                                               
oriented  bill.  It  is  an attack  on  reproductive  rights  and                                                               
access.  It  is an  attack  on  medical  staff and  providers  to                                                               
undermine their  expertise. It  is an  attack on  state agencies.                                                               
The  state needs  to focus  efforts to  providers, agencies,  and                                                               
organizations that support access  to safe, sound, and consensual                                                               
care so families can make the best decisions for their families.                                                                
2:17:15 PM                                                                                                                    
KASEY CASORF, representing self, opposed  SB 124. She said she is                                                               
a freshman at the University  of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). When she                                                               
was 16,  her best friend was  raped on the UAF  campus. This made                                                               
her aware of  her vulnerability as a woman. She  lives in a world                                                               
where  attacks  on her  body  come  from  all sides.  Having  her                                                               
government attempt  to limit  the power of  doctors to  treat her                                                               
body with the  respect it deserves is unacceptable. SB  124 is an                                                               
unreasonable,  medically   unsound,  and   politically  motivated                                                               
attack on her  body's autonomy. It sets a  dangerous precedent by                                                               
substituting the agenda of politicians  in a situation where only                                                               
her doctor's  expertise should  be present.  It is  insensible to                                                               
hold  hearings  on  fundamentally unnecessary  legislation  while                                                               
Alaska  is in  the midst  of  budget crisis.  Focus attention  on                                                               
Alaska's real problems instead of  a medically unsafe bill. Women                                                               
count on them to defend their bodies, minds, and futures.                                                                       
2:19:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ROSE O'HARA-JOLLEY,  representing self, opposed SB  124. She said                                                               
her  family survived  the Holocaust  and many  more did  not. She                                                               
finds  it  personally  offensive  to create  a  false  comparison                                                               
between the  Holocaust and  those who survived  and her  right to                                                               
her body's autonomy and the state's decisions in it.                                                                            
2:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
HANNAH HILL, representing  self, opposed SB 124. She  said SB 124                                                               
serves to  substitute the knowledge of  medical practitioners for                                                               
personal ideology  using medically  inaccurate and  legally vague                                                               
language.   The  vast   preponderance   of  so-called   late-term                                                               
abortions  is  because  of  imminent   maternal  death  or  fetal                                                               
abnormalities   that  are   incompatible  with   life.  Per   the                                                               
Guttmacher Institute.,  nine percent  of abortions  are performed                                                               
after  the first  trimester, and  of those,  one percent  happens                                                               
after 21 weeks.  They say the personal is political,  but in this                                                               
case  the  political  is personal.  Leave  personal  health  care                                                               
decisions to people and to the medical care of their doctors.                                                                   
2:21:20 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
2:21:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
CINDY ROEDIGER, representing  self, opposed SB 124.  She said she                                                               
is an abolitionist  and follower of Jesus Christ.  This bill does                                                               
not recognize the child  in the womb to be in need  of aid at the                                                               
time the  abortionist is  in the  act of  murdering them.  If the                                                               
child survives  attempted murder, then  the child may be  a Child                                                               
in Need  of Aid. What sick,  twisted thinking this is.  In Romans                                                               
13,  Paul viewed  governing authorities  as being  established by                                                               
God  to restrain  evil and  promote  a just  and peaceful  social                                                               
order. God  is the  authority and has  placed Senator  Giessel in                                                               
authority. She  read from Isiah  10:1, 10:2, Proverbs  24, Psalms                                                               
94:16, and Proverbs  22:8. God is sovereign  and all-knowing, and                                                               
he  sees through  this wicked  and  evil bill.  She pleaded  with                                                               
Senator Giessel to  create a version of HB 250  for the Senate to                                                               
abolish abortion in Alaska.                                                                                                     
2:25:54 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK MARTIN,  Alaska Right  to Life, opposed  SB 124.  He said                                                               
Schindler  did not  create or  perpetuate  laws that  slaughtered                                                               
innocent Jews, but  by creating two classes of  unborn babies, SB
124 takes  the role of  the Nazi government  and not the  role of                                                               
the courageous Mr. Schindler. Right  to Life would like to submit                                                               
that the  best way of  surviving an  abortion is not  be aborted.                                                               
Protections  must  be  applied  to all  babies.  Life  begins  at                                                               
conception. This  is the  same faulty  logic as  in Roe  vs Wade,                                                               
that the  preborn fetus has  no rights and  can be killed  at any                                                               
point  up to  birth.  Right to  Life opposes  SB  124 because  it                                                               
creates two  classes of babies,  those that mothers can  kill and                                                               
those they cannot.                                                                                                              
At ease.                                                                                                                        
2:29:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
RICK  SMALL, representing  self, opposed  SB 124.  He said  he is                                                               
representing himself  as a representative  of Lord  Jesus Christ.                                                               
God  Almighty clearly  stated you  shall not  murder and  did not                                                               
place  any size  or  age limits  on his  direct  command. HB  250                                                               
should  be  discussed.  He  has been  asking  Senator  Hughes  to                                                               
introduce  the same  bill in  the  Senate. He  is asking  Senator                                                               
Wilson to introduce an exact duplicate  of HB 250 and HB 251 into                                                               
the Senate.  Five Alaskan  babies are  being murdered  today. The                                                               
Alaska Legislature  has the primary responsibility  of protecting                                                               
innocent humans  in this  state. Human abortion  is a  hate crime                                                               
and silence  is consent. The right  to murder children is  not in                                                               
the U.S.  Constitution or  the Alaska  Constitution. SB  124 does                                                               
not  abolish  abortion. May  God  have  mercy for  allowing  this                                                               
holocaust ten times worse than  the Nazi Holocaust to continue in                                                               
this state.                                                                                                                     
2:32:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARITY  CARMODY, Founder/President,  Beacon  Hill, supported  SB
124. She  said Beacon Hill  is a licensed child  placement agency                                                               
and  nonprofit  that  deals  in  all  things  child  welfare  and                                                               
recruits for adoptive  families. She supports SB 124  as a person                                                               
who has  fought her entire career  for the rights of  children to                                                               
be protected because the bill does  this. It deals with the issue                                                               
of  viability  and in  all  cases,  the  state tries  to  protect                                                               
children most  at risk. She  is the  mother of three  children, a                                                               
foster mother,  an adoptive mother.  She has a son  with cerebral                                                               
palsy.  This   helps  protect  all  children,   and  even  female                                                               
children. When  she hears  women say this  is against  the female                                                               
gender, she  disagrees. It keeps  them from being aborted  or not                                                               
protected if born alive.                                                                                                        
2:34:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MELISSA GOLDSTEIN, Legal Fellow, ACLU  of Alaska, opposed SB 124.                                                               
She  said abortion  is  a  safe and  legal  medical procedure,  a                                                               
fundamental  right grounded  in  the rights  of  privacy. It  may                                                               
force  women  seeking  to  terminate a  pregnancy  to  undergo  a                                                               
dangerous, invasive medical procedure instead  of one of the many                                                               
safe  alternatives   that  are  available.  It   interferes  with                                                               
physicians'   medical    judgements   and    the   doctor/patient                                                               
relationship because it compels  physicians to perform procedures                                                               
that  are not  necessarily in  accordance with  medical judgment.                                                               
Many  hospitals  in  Alaska  already  have  restrictive  abortion                                                               
policies. These policies mean induction  would not be possible in                                                               
those facilities.  SB 124 is unenforceable.  The gestation period                                                               
is  not defined,  and  it  does not  suggest  how physicians  and                                                               
patients would  comply with the  law. The U.S. Supreme  Court has                                                               
stated that  the state has  a legitimate interest in  seeing that                                                               
abortion, like any other medical  procedure, must be performed in                                                               
conditions that ensure  maximum safety for the  patient. They are                                                               
concerned   that   SB   124  is   unconstitutional.   They   have                                                               
successfully litigated unconstitutional  laws that target women's                                                               
reproductive  rights.  Recently  the  State  of  Alaska  paid  $1                                                               
million in attorney  fees for a similar type of  litigation. On a                                                               
personal  note,  her grandfather  was  on  Schindler's list.  She                                                               
finds  the comparison  between  a woman's  right  to terminate  a                                                               
pregnancy to what her grandfather went through offensive.                                                                       
2:37:13 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM  LAKOSH, representing  self,  opposed SB  124.  He said  that                                                               
while he  appreciates the senator's  efforts to see  that support                                                               
is  offered  by  the  state to  prematurely  born  children,  the                                                               
attempt is  unconstitutionally restrictive of a  woman's right to                                                               
privacy. The bill should be amended  so that a woman who wants to                                                               
surrender  a  premature child  can.  This  essentially gives  the                                                               
state the right to show up  in a doctor's office with a speculum.                                                               
He asked  who becomes liable  if a woman  dies in the  attempt to                                                               
deliver  a  viable  child.  Many   issues  exist  for  liability.                                                               
Although  he believes  in the  sanctity of  life, this  is not  a                                                               
viable piece  of legislation. The budget  cannot sustain repeated                                                               
constitutional challenges to lousy legislation.                                                                                 
2:39:09 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM DEATON, representing self,  Cordova, Alaska, supported SB
124.  He said  he  wants the  bill amended  so  that a  physician                                                               
besides the  abortionist be there  on hand  to save the  child if                                                               
the child  survives the abortion.  He said  he does not  trust an                                                               
abortionist who  is attempting  to murder the  child to  save the                                                               
child  outside of  the womb.  He is  completely prolife.  If this                                                               
bill  saves even  one life  he supports  it. The  U.S. is  one of                                                               
seven countries  that allows abortions  past 20  weeks, including                                                               
North Korea and China. He noted  a child in the womb has separate                                                               
DNA from the mother and should not be removed like a tumor.                                                                     
2:41:09 PM}                                                                                                                   
ZHENIA PETERSON, representing self, opposed  SB 124. She said the                                                               
decision  for an  abortion should  be left  between a  doctor and                                                               
patient.  In  Alaska  it  is   already  hard  to  get  access  to                                                               
reproductive  health care,  comprehensive sexual  education, and,                                                               
of course,  abortion. The decision to  get an abortion is  not an                                                               
easy  one, but  it should  be  made with  the care  of a  trusted                                                               
physician. Focus  on finding programs  that teach  more medically                                                               
accurate  sexual education  and  healthy  relationships to  avoid                                                               
unintended pregnancies.                                                                                                         
2:42:35 PM                                                                                                                    
BESSI  ODOM, representing  self, opposed  SB 124.  She said  with                                                               
proposed  legislation  like SB  124,  legislators  are truly  not                                                               
listening to all Alaskan women,  including rural and urban. Women                                                               
need the  assurance that they  will not be prevented  or deterred                                                               
from seeking  care because  of policies that  are in  place. They                                                               
should  be concerned  about  the  risks they  will  put women  of                                                               
various  communities  in.  SB  124 would  force  women  to  carry                                                               
pregnancies to  term regardless of  their wishes  and jeopardizes                                                               
the health  of the  women. Sometimes  a woman  has had  to choose                                                               
between  an  abortion  and  her  own life.  This  ball  fails  to                                                               
consider a mother and her health.                                                                                               
2:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN SMITH, representing  self, opposed SB 124.  She said Alaska                                                               
is struggling  to finance its  government yet Senator  Giessel is                                                               
wasting Alaska's time  and money and is not  focusing on Alaska's                                                               
first  priority.  Senator  Giessel  is  part  of  the  Republican                                                               
coalition that  reduced children's  PFDs to fund  the government,                                                               
potentially literally  taking food, health care,  and educational                                                               
options  away from  kids. There  are cuts  in school  funding and                                                               
less money for  health and human services. Why  focus energies on                                                               
restricting women's  right to  abortion. Those  seeking late-term                                                               
abortions  are often  adolescents  or  women with  life-threating                                                               
circumstances   or  the   fetus  has   severe  abnormalities   or                                                               
impairments.  In  society  only  pregnant  women  are  viewed  as                                                               
morally  incompetent. Society  does not  force parents  to donate                                                               
kidneys, eyes, or part of a  liver to children, but demands women                                                               
put  their  lives at  risk.  Women's  health must  be  considered                                                               
first, she said.                                                                                                                
2:46:48 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN  PERRY, representing  self, opposed  SB 124.  She said  she                                                               
opposes the bill because it is  a murder bill. It is a ridiculous                                                               
bill that  purports to be  prolife but actually  condones murder.                                                               
Abortion is child  sacrifice. Instead of working to  stop it, the                                                               
bill deceives people.  It is deceitful and evil  of Cathy Giessel                                                               
and Cathy Tilton in the House  to sponsor prodeath bills. That is                                                               
not what their party platform  supports. Support a companion bill                                                               
to HB  250, which  protects life at  conception. She  quoted from                                                               
Psalm  94,  verses 20  and  21.  The  bill continues  to  condemn                                                               
innocents to death.                                                                                                             
2:49:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON closed public testimony on SB 124.                                                                                 
2:49:56 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
2:51:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON reconvened  the meeting and asked if  there were any                                                               
amendments. Finding none, he asked for  a motion to move the bill                                                               
out of committee.                                                                                                               
2:51:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE said  this is  a bill  that Judiciary  needs to                                                               
review.  He moved  SB 124,  version  30-LS0429\U, from  committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                      
2:52:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH objected.  He  said since  no  one supported  the                                                               
bill, neither those  who opposed the bill for  reasons of privacy                                                               
nor those  who opposed abortion,  the committee was not  ready to                                                               
move the bill out.                                                                                                              
2:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON said  some  of the  questions  about liability  and                                                               
constitutionality  will be  handled best  in Judiciary,  the next                                                               
committee of referral.                                                                                                          
2:53:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE said he was not  sure that the HSS committee was                                                               
the appropriate first stop, but since  that is where the bill is,                                                               
he  thinks  Judiciary  is  the appropriate  body  to  review  the                                                               
legalities. He  noted the testimony  heard was an example  of the                                                               
true definition of strange bedfellows.                                                                                          
2:53:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON asked for a roll call vote.                                                                                        
A  roll  call  vote  was  taken.  Senators  Giessel,  von  Imhof,                                                               
Micciche,  and  Wilson voted  in  favor  of  moving SB  124  from                                                               
committee  and Senator  Begich voted  against it.  Therefore, the                                                               
motion to move SB 124 from committee passed by a 4:1 vote.                                                                      
2:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced  that SB 124 moves from  the Senate Health                                                               
and Social Services Standing Committee with a vote of 4:1.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 124 version U.PDF SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Sponsor Statement.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Sectional Analysis version U.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Supporting Document - 2016 ITOP Report.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Supporting Document - NYT Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated, Study Finds.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Supporting Document - State Policies on Later Abortions 2-1-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Fiscal Note 1.17.18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Letters of Support 2-16-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Presentation 2-18-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
Opposition 2.19.18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
Support 2.19.18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
2018.02.19 ACLU Testimony Opposing SB 124.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
Alaska Right To Life Opposes Passage of SB 124.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
Alaska Right To Life ITOP Report Analysis SB 124.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
Warren Hern on Late Term Abortions AKRTL SB 124.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
Roe v. Wade, (full text) __ 410 U.S. 113 (1973) __ Justia US Supreme Court Center SB 124.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Letters of Support as of 2-19-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Letter of Support Tucker Tillman 2-19-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Letter of Support Alaska Family Action 2-19-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Letter of Support Michael Pankion 2-19-18.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124
SB 124 Letters of Support as of 2-19-18 part 2.pdf SHSS 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 124