Abortion reporting bill passes House

Posted: Monday, April 08, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill requiring doctors, hospitals and clinics to report all abortions to the state passed the House unanimously Monday.

Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, sponsored the bill, which calls for the state to use the information collected in an annual report on the number of abortions performed.

The report would include statistics on patients' education and race, the estimated length of pregnancy, method of abortion and whether patients had undergone prior abortions.

The patient's identity would not be sent to the state. The name of the community, the doctor, the hospital or other information that could reveal the identity of patients also would not be part of the annual report.

Those privacy protections led the Alaska Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood to drop their initial opposition to the measure.

Coghill said the statistics could be used in debates over public policy, while the Alaska Civil Liberties Union has said the data would provide a more accurate picture of women's health needs.

According to the Department of Health and Social Services, Alaska is one of only three states that do not require reporting of abortions.

Rep. Andrew Halcro, R-Anchorage, gave notice he may bring the measure up for reconsideration Tuesday, but the outcome is not expected to change. The measure will then go to the Senate.

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