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23rd Legislature(2003-2004)

Bill Text 23rd Legislature


00 Enrolled SB 30                                                                                                          
01 Relating to information and services available to pregnant women and other persons; ensuring                            
02 informed consent before an abortion may be performed; and providing exceptions to informed                              
03 consent in certain cases.                                                                                               
04                           _______________                                                                               
05    * Section 1.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                         
06 to read:                                                                                                                
07       LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.  The legislature finds that                                                                 
08            (1)  duties of the state include regulating medical practice and fostering the                               
09 development of standards of professional conduct in a critical area of medical practice;                                
10            (2)  the state is interested in protecting the lives and health of pregnant women;                           
11            (3)  women have a right to know the medical risks associated with their                                      
12 reproductive options;                                                                                                   
13            (4)  the creation of an unbiased, scientific information site on the Internet that                           
14 is reviewed and approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and gynecological                               
01 specialists designated by the State Medical Board and that sufficiently describes reproductive                          
02 options and their potential consequences will protect, inform, and promote a woman's free and                           
03 private choices between permanent and life-affecting alternatives;                                                      
04            (5)  the creation of an unbiased, scientific information site on the Internet that                           
05 is reviewed and approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and gynecological                               
06 specialists designated by the State Medical Board and that sufficiently describes reproductive                          
07 options and their potential consequences will reduce costly and undue litigation, will promote                          
08 judicial economy and resources, and will provide physicians with a clear understanding of                               
09 what constitutes informed consent for abortion;                                                                         
10            (6)  considerable testimony has been received indicating that women have, on                                 
11 occasion, received abortions in the state without considering sufficient information.                                   
12    * Sec. 2.  AS 18.05 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
13            Sec. 18.05.032.  Information relating to pregnancy and pregnancy                                           
14       alternatives.  (a)  The department shall maintain on the Internet, in printable form,                           
15       standard information that                                                                                         
16                 (1)  contains geographically indexed material designed to inform a                                      
17       person of public and private agencies, services, clinics, and facilities that are available                       
18       to assist a woman with the woman's reproductive choices; the department shall include                             
19       information about at least the following types of agencies, services, clinics, and                                
20       facilities:                                                                                                       
21                      (A)  agencies, services, clinics, and facilities designed to assist a                              
22            woman through pregnancy, including adoption agencies, and counseling                                         
23            services;                                                                                                    
24                      (B)  agencies, services, clinics, and facilities that provide                                      
25            abortion options and counseling and post-abortion counseling and services; and                               
26                      (C)  agencies, services, clinics, and facilities designed to assist                                
27            with or provide contraceptive options and counseling for appropriate family                                  
28            planning;                                                                                                    
29                 (2)  includes a comprehensive regional directory of the agencies,                                       
30       services, clinics, and facilities that request to be identified by the department under (1)                       
31       of this subsection, a description of the services they offer, and the manner in which the                         
01       agencies, services, clinics, and facilities may be contacted, including telephone                                 
02       numbers;                                                                                                          
03                 (3)  provides information concerning the eligibility for medical                                        
04       assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, neonatal care, abortion services,                              
05       women's health care, and contraception;                                                                           
06                 (4)  states that informed and voluntary consent is required under                                       
07       AS 18.16.060 for an abortion;                                                                                     
08                 (5)  provides information concerning the process by which a mother of                                   
09       a child may establish a child support order to assist in the support of a child;                                  
10                 (6)  describes the fetal development of a typical unborn child at two-                                  
11       week gestational increments from fertilization to full-term, including links to                                   
12       photographs of a typical unborn child at four-week gestational increments, and                                    
13       relevant information about the possibility of an unborn child's survival at the various                           
14       gestational ages; the information must be objective, nonjudgmental information that is                            
15       reviewed and approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and                                          
16       gynecological specialists designated by the State Medical Board and designed to                                   
17       convey only accurate scientific information about unborn children at various                                      
18       gestational ages;                                                                                                 
19                 (7)  contains objective, unbiased information that is reviewed and                                      
20       approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and gynecological specialists                             
21       designated by the State Medical Board and that describes the methods of abortion                                  
22       procedures and treatments commonly employed and the medical risks and possible                                    
23       complications commonly associated with each procedure and treatment, as well as the                               
24       possible physical and psychological effects that have been associated with having an                              
25       abortion;                                                                                                         
26                 (8)  contains objective, unbiased information that is reviewed and                                      
27       approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and gynecological specialists                             
28       designated by the State Medical Board and that describes the possible medical risks                               
29       and complications commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the                               
30       possible physical and psychological effects that have been associated with carrying a                             
31       child to term;                                                                                                    
01                 (9)  contains objective, unbiased information that is reviewed and                                      
02       approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and gynecological specialists                             
03       designated by the State Medical Board and that concerns the harmful effects on an                                 
04       unborn child when a woman consumes alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs during                                      
05       pregnancy;                                                                                                        
06                 (10)  contains objective, unbiased, and comprehensive information that                                  
07       is reviewed and approved for medical accuracy by recognized obstetrical and                                       
08       gynecological specialists designated by the State Medical Board and that describes the                            
09       different types of available contraceptive choices, including abstinence and natural                              
10       family planning, that describes the methods of contraception that are intended to                                 
11       prevent fertilization and the methods that are intended to prevent implantation of a                              
12       fertilized egg, and that describes the reliability, psychological effects, medical risks,                         
13       and complications commonly associated with each method;                                                           
14                 (11)  contains a disclaimer on the website home page concerning the                                     
15       graphic or sensitive nature of the information contained on the website;                                          
16                 (12)  contains a signature form by which a person may indicate the                                      
17       person has reviewed the information.                                                                              
18            (b)  The department shall adopt regulations establishing procedures for                                      
19       establishing and maintaining the information under this section.                                                  
20            (c)  In this section,                                                                                        
21                 (1)  "abortion" has the meaning given in AS 18.16.090;                                                  
22                 (2)  "fertilization" means the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a                                    
23       human ovum;                                                                                                       
24                 (3)  "gestational age" means the age of the unborn child as calculated                                  
25       from the first day of the last menstrual period of a pregnant woman;                                              
26                 (4)  "unborn child" means the offspring of a human being in utero at                                    
27       various stages of biological development.                                                                         
28    * Sec. 3.  AS 18.16.010(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
29            (a)  An abortion may not be performed in this state unless                                                   
30                 (1)  the abortion is performed by a physician [OR SURGEON] licensed                                     
31       by the State Medical Board under AS 08.64.200;                                                                    
01                 (2)  the abortion is performed in a hospital or other facility approved for                             
02       the purpose by the Department of Health and Social Services or a hospital operated by                             
03       the federal government or an agency of the federal government;                                                    
04                 (3)  before an abortion is knowingly performed or induced on an                                         
05       unmarried, unemancipated woman under 17 years of age, consent has been given as                                   
06       required under AS 18.16.020 or a court has authorized the minor to consent to the                                 
07       abortion under AS 18.16.030 and the minor consents; for purposes of enforcing this                                
08       paragraph, there is a rebuttable presumption that a woman who is unmarried and under                              
09       17 years of age is unemancipated; [AND]                                                                           
10                 (4)  the woman is domiciled or physically present in the state for 30                                   
11       days before the abortion; and                                                                                 
12                 (5)  the applicable requirements of AS 18.16.060 have been                                          
13       satisfied.                                                                                                    
14    * Sec. 4.  AS 18.16.010 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                              
15            (h)  A physician or other health care provider is liable for failure to obtain the                           
16       informed consent of a person as required under AS 18.16.060 if the claimant                                       
17       establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the provider has failed to inform                             
18       the person of the common risks and reasonable alternatives to the proposed abortion                               
19       procedure and that, but for that failure, the person would not have consented to the                              
20       abortion procedure.                                                                                               
21            (i)  It is a defense to any action for the alleged failure to obtain the informed                            
22       consent of a person under (h) of this section that                                                                
23                 (1)  the risk not disclosed is too commonly known or is too remote to                                   
24       require disclosure; or                                                                                            
25                 (2)  the person who is the subject of the alleged failure to obtain the                                 
26       informed consent stated to the physician or other health care provider that the person                            
27       would or would not undergo the abortion procedure regardless of the risk involved or                              
28       that the person did not want to be informed of the matters to which the person would                              
29       be entitled to be informed.                                                                                       
30            (j)  In an action under (h) of this section, there is a rebuttable presumption that                          
31       an abortion was performed with the pregnant woman's informed consent if the person                                
01       who performed the abortion submits into evidence a copy of the woman's written                                    
02       certification required under AS 18.16.060(b).                                                                     
03    * Sec. 5.  AS 18.16 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
04            Sec. 18.16.060.  Informed consent requirements.  (a)  Except as provided in                                
05       (d) of this section, a person may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion without                             
06       the voluntary and informed consent of                                                                             
07                 (1)  a woman on whom an abortion is to be performed or induced;                                         
08                 (2)  the parent, guardian, or custodian of a pregnant, unemancipated                                    
09       minor if required under AS 18.16.020; or                                                                          
10                 (3)  a pregnant, unemancipated minor if authorized by a court under                                     
11       AS 18.60.030.                                                                                                     
12            (b)  Consent to an abortion is informed and voluntary when the woman or                                      
13       another person whose consent is required certifies in writing that the physician who is                           
14       to perform the abortion, a member of the physician's staff who is a licensed health care                          
15       provider, or the referring physician has verbally informed the woman or another                                   
16       person whose consent is required of the name of the physician who will perform the                                
17       procedure and the gestational estimation of the pregnancy at the time the abortion is to                          
18       be performed and has provided either                                                                              
19                 (1)  the Internet information required to be maintained under                                           
20       AS 18.05.032; the physician or a member of the physician's staff who is a licensed                                
21       health care provider shall provide a copy of the Internet information if a person                                 
22       requests a written copy; if a member of the physician's staff provides the information                            
23       required under this paragraph, the member of the physician's staff shall offer the                                
24       opportunity to consult with the physician; or                                                                     
25                 (2)  information about the nature and risks of undergoing or not                                        
26       undergoing the proposed procedure that a reasonable patient would consider material                               
27       to making a voluntary and informed decision of whether to undergo the procedure.                                  
28            (c)  The information required in (b) of this section shall be provided before the                            
29       procedure in a private setting to protect privacy, maintain the confidentiality of the                            
30       decision, ensure that the information focuses on the individual circumstances, and                                
31       ensure an adequate opportunity to ask questions.  Provision of the information                                    
01       telephonically or by electronic mail, regular mail, or facsimile transmittal before the                           
02       person's appointment satisfies the requirements of this subsection as long as the person                          
03       whose consent is required under (a) of this section has an opportunity to ask questions                           
04       of the physician after receiving the information.                                                                 
05            (d)  Notwithstanding (a) of this section, informed consent that meets the                                    
06       requirements of (a) - (c) of this section is not required in the case of a medical                                
07       emergency or if the pregnancy is the result of sexual assault under AS 11.41.410 -                                
08       11.41.427, sexual abuse of a minor under AS 11.41.434 - 11.41.440, incest under                                   
09       AS 11.41.450, or an offense under a law of another jurisdiction with elements similar                             
10       to one of these offences.  In this subsection, "medical emergency" means a condition                              
11       that, on the basis of a physician's good faith clinical judgment, so complicates the                              
12       medical condition of a pregnant woman that                                                                        
13                 (1)  the immediate termination of the woman's pregnancy is necessary                                    
14       to avert the woman's death; or                                                                                    
15                 (2)  a delay in providing an abortion will create serious risk of                                       
16       substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the woman.                                  
17    * Sec. 6.  AS 18.50.245(e) is amended to read:                                                                     
18            (e)  The state registrar shall adopt regulations to implement this section.  The                             
19       regulations that establish the information that will be required in a report of an induced                        
20       termination of pregnancy                                                                                          
21                 (1)  must require information substantially similar to the information                              
22       required under the United States Standard Report of Induced Termination of                                        
23       Pregnancy, as published by the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for                                 
24       Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human                                      
25       Services, in April 1998, as part of DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 98-1117;                                       
26                 (2)  must require, if known, whether the unidentified patient                                       
27       requested and received a written copy of the information required to be                                       
28       maintained on the Internet under AS 18.05.032; and                                                            
29                 (3)  may not include provisions that would violate a woman's                                        
30       privacy by requiring the woman's name or any identifying information in the                                   
31       report.                                                                                                     
01    * Sec. 7.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
02 read:                                                                                                                   
03       SEVERABILITY.  Under AS 01.10.030, the provisions of this Act are severable.                                      
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