Women would be required to undergo an ultrasound before receiving an abortion under legislation proposed in the Alaska Senate on Wednesday.
Under the bill, the woman, or the parent or guardian whose consent is required for a minor to obtain an abortion, would be informed of the right to view the ultrasound image during the exam and hear an explanation. They can decline to see the image or hear the explanation.
The primary sponsor of the bill is Senate Minority Leader John Coghill, R-North Pole. Sens. Charlie Huggins, Cathy Giessel and Fred Dyson, all Republicans and minority members, and Sen. Donny Olson, a Democrat, have also signed on to the measure. Giessel is a registered nurse, and Olson is a doctor.
Initially, the Legislature's website incorrectly listed Sen. Bettye Davis, D-Anchorage, as a sponsor instead of Dyson.
Coghill said he realizes he will have a tough time getting the measure, SB191, through the Senate, but he said the discussion is worth having.
To him, it's a matter of what he calls "informed consent."
"I think if people understood a little bit more about what's going on in the womb, they might reconsider (an abortion)," he said.
"The choice is the female's, and I respect that as much as I can respect it," he said, "but I'm also trying to bring as much respect for what a pregnancy really is."