SS/SCS/SB 65 - This act modifies provisions relating to abortion.
The definition of "abortion" is amended to include the act of using or prescribing any medicine, instruments or devices with the intent to destroy the life of the unborn child. Abortion shall also be the be act of terminating a pregnancy with an intent other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to remove a dead or dying unborn child. A definition for "reasonable medical judgment" is added which is one made by a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the medical conditions involved.
Except in the case of a medical emergency, no abortion of a viable unborn child shall be performed or induced unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or when continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or the pregnant woman. For purposes of this act, "major bodily function" includes, but is not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
GESTATIONAL AGE AND VIABILITY
This act provides that, except in the case of a medical emergency, prior to performing or inducing an abortion upon any woman, the physician shall determine the gestational age of the unborn child. If the physician determines the unborn child is 20 weeks or more, the physician shall determine if the unborn child is viable. The standards and practices required to determine both gestational age and viability are prescribed under the act.
If the physician determines that the unborn child is viable, the physician shall not perform or induce an abortion upon the woman unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman or that a continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman.
UNBORN CHILD WHO IS VIABLE
This act prescribes the reporting and certification requirements a physician must follow when performing or inducing an abortion when the unborn child is viable. In addition, before such abortion, the physician shall obtain the agreement of a second physician with knowledge of accepted obstetrical and neonatal practices and standards who shall concur that the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman, or that continuation of the pregnancy would cause a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. The second physician shall not have any legal or financial affiliation or relationship with the physician performing or inducing the abortion, that such prohibition shall not apply to physicians whose legal or financial affiliation or relationship is a result of being employed by or having staff privileges at the same hospital.
The requirements regarding the method or techniques to be used on a viable unborn child and regarding a second physician in attendance are the same as under current law and are prescribed under the act.
UNBORN CHILD WHO IS NOT VIABLE
If the physician determines that the gestational age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or more, and further determines that the unborn child is not viable and performs or induces an abortion upon the woman, the physician shall report such findings and determinations and the reasons for such determinations to the health care facility in which the abortion is performed and to the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, and shall enter such findings and determinations in the medical records of the woman and in the individual abortion report submitted to the Department of Health and Senior Services.
Any person who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an unborn child in violation of the provisions of this act is guilty of a Class C felony, and upon a finding of guilt or a plea of guilty, shall be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year and shall be fined not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars.
Any physician who pleads guilty to or is convicted of performing or inducing an abortion of an unborn child in violation of this act shall be subject to suspension or revocation of his or her license to practice medicine in the by the State Board of Registration for the Healing arts.
Any hospital or ambulatory surgical center that knowingly allows an abortion of an unborn child to be performed or induced in violation of this act shall be subject to suspension or revocation of its license.
A woman upon whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this section shall not be prosecuted for a conspiracy to violate the provisions of this section.
Nothing in this act shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to abortion, nor is it the intention of this section to make lawful any abortion that is currently unlawful. The General Assembly may, by concurrent resolution, appoint one or more of its members who sponsored or co-sponsored this act in his or her official capacity, to intervene as a matter of right in any case in which the constitutionality of this law is challenged.
This act is identical to SS/HCS/HB 213 (2011).