HB 46 Modifies provisions regarding informed consent for abortions

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

SS/HCS/HBs 46 & 434 - This act modifies the informed consent requirements for an abortion by adding new requirements to be obtained at least twenty-four hours prior to an abortion. Some of the new requirements include the doctor who is to perform the abortion or a qualified professional providing to the pregnant woman, orally, reduced to writing, and in person, various new printed materials and videos, to be developed by the Department of Health and Senior Services by November 30, 2009, detailing the risks of an abortion and the physiological characteristics of an unborn child at two-week gestational increments. The woman must also be provided with the gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed and must be given an opportunity to view, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, an active ultrasound of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child, if the heartbeat is audible. Prior to an abortion being performed past twenty-two weeks gestational age, the woman must be provided information regarding the possibility of the abortion causing pain to the unborn child.

In addition to the written informed consent, the act requires the physician to discuss the medical assistance and counseling resources available, advise the woman of the father's liability for child support, and provide information about the Alternatives to Abortion Program. All information required to be provided to a woman shall be presented to her individually in the physical presence of the woman. The abortion cannot be performed until the woman certifies in writing on a checklist form that she has been presented all the required information and that she has been given the opportunity to view an ultrasound, and to choose to have an anesthetic or analgesic administered to the unborn child.

This act provides that the requirements of Section 188.027 shall not apply to facilities performing abortions no more than 1 day a week until August 28, 2012. Should the section be declared unconstitutional, the remaining provisions of the bill shall be deemed in effect.

As of August 28, 2009, the informed consent provisions under section 188.039 shall apply only to facilities performing abortions no more than 1 day a week and the provisions of the section shall expire on August 28, 2012.

These provisions are similar to SB 264 (2009).


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