Welcome to the website dedicated to Alaskans opposing legislation that would further deteriorate not only a woman's right to choice when it comes to her reproductive system, but also an individual's right to decide what they do with their own body. As it stands, there is legislation in the 27th Alaskan State Legislature that would do this: Senate Bill 191, entitled "An Act to require ultrasound before an abortion" is the Alaskan version of legislation that has been sweeping the nation. Introduced and sponsored by Senator Coghill (R-North Pole), this bill currently sits on the floor of the Senate's Health and Social Services Committee.
This is not the first time such legislation has been introduced, and it will not be the last. During the 26th Alaskan Legislative Session, Senator Fred Dyson (a co-sponsor of SB 191) sponsored Senate Bill 181 in 2009, entitled "An Act relating to ultrasounds and specified procedures for informed consent for an abortion"; similar to SB 191, this bill, if enacted, would require a physician to administer an ultrasound before performing an abortion. According to the sponsor statement Senator Dyson gave in 2009,
"In response to the 1992 court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey several states
have passed a variety of informed consent or Woman’s Right to Know laws intended to
ensure that a woman’s decision whether to abort is a measured, not emotional, one.
To assist women in making fully informed decisions, 16 states have enacted laws
requiring an abortion provider to give a woman considering an abortion the
opportunity to view, and receive from the doctor a description of, the ultrasound images
prior to undergoing an abortion." (To read full sponsor statement, please visit . Emphasis added by webmaster.)
This language above suggests that women are too delicate, too emotional to be trusted with their own decisions. Lawmakers, like Senators Dyson and Coghill, believe that a woman considering an abortion is in distress - Dyson even goes so far as to call such a woman a "mother in crisis" later in his sponsor statement. Under this kind of emotional duress, of course a pregnant woman would be unable to make her own decisions about her body, and thus legislators would require an ultrasound to best 'help' her make her decision.
There's another word for this, though: Harassment. Alaska's Informed Consent statutes ("Informed Consent Requirements", AS 18.16.060(b)) already lists that "Consent to an abortion is informed and voluntary when the woman or another person whose consent is required certifies in writing that the physician who is to perform the abortion, a member of the physician's staff who is a licensed health care provider, or the referring physician has verbally informed the woman or another person whose consent is required of the name of the physician who will perform the procedure and the gestational estimation of the pregnancy at the time the abortion is to be performed..." Already Alaskan statutes mandate that the woman (or "another person whose consent is required") is given the gestational age estimation in a meeting prior to having the procedure. Senator Coghill would force a woman to have an additional ultrasound, with the intent to 'verify' the estimation. This verification only serves to further shame, guilt, and torment women across the nation.
We must stand together for our rights. We cannot let the men and women in office think that they can even further restrict our rights to choice, to reproductive decisions, and to control of our bodies. We must Fight For Our Rights