SB 644
Modifies provisions relating to abortion, including donation of fetal tissue, tissue reports, physician privileges, and ambulatory surgical center licensing and inspections
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/13/2016 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection--SB 644-Onder, with SCS
Journal Page:
SCS SB 644
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2016

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 644 - This act makes numerous changes to existing statutes relating to abortion, including donation of fetal tissue, pathology tissue reports, abortion reports, physician privileges, ambulatory surgical center licensing procedures, and inspections of abortion facilities.


Under this provision, no mother, father, or any other person shall knowingly donate or make an anatomical gift of the fetal organs and tissue resulting from an abortion to any person or entity for medical, scientific, experimental, therapeutic, or any other use. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the submission of fetal organs and tissue resulting from an abortion for medical or scientific purposes to determine the cause or causes of any anomaly, illness, death, or genetic condition of the fetus, the paternity of the fetus, or for law enforcement purposes.

TISSUE REPORTS (Section 188.047)

Under current law, a representative sample of tissue removed at the time of abortion is sent to a pathologist for examination. This provision requires that all tissue removed at the time of abortion, excluding any submitted for genetic testing or law enforcement purposes, be sent to the pathologist. Additionally, all tissue reports issued by the pathologist shall contain a certification that all submitted tissue has been disposed of in accordance with state law. Finally, this provision requires the Department of Health and Senior Services, beginning January 1, 2017, to make an annual report to the General Assembly. The report shall include the following for each abortion procedure reported to the Department the previous calendar year: (1) the abortion procedure used and a clinical estimation of gestation; (2) whether the Department received the tissue report for that abortion, along with a certification of the disposal of the remains; and (3) the existence and nature, if any, of any inconsistencies or concerns between the physician's abortion report to the Department and the pathologist's submitted tissue report.

ABORTION REPORTS (Section 188.052)

Under current law, an attending physician must submit an abortion report to the Department. This act requires that abortion report to contain the name and address of the pathologist to whom the tissue was submitted for purposes of the tissue report, as well as the name and address of any individual or entity, if applicable, to whom tissue was submitted for genetic testing or law enforcement purposes.


Under current law, any physician performing or inducing an abortion must have clinical privileges at a hospital which offers obstetrical or gynecological care located within 30 miles of the location at which the abortion is performed or induced. This provision changes that requirement to instead require the physician to have surgical and admitting privileges at such hospital.


This provision prohibits the Department from issuing or renewing an ambulatory surgical center license unless the applicant meets the requirements of any applicable state or federal law or regulation. Additionally, the Department shall not waive this requirement as a condition of any litigation, settlement, or any other agreement.


This provision requires the Department to conduct annual, unannounced, on-site inspections and investigations of abortion facilities. These inspections shall, at a minimum, include the following areas: (1) compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements for an ambulatory surgical center, including requirements that the facility maintain adequate staffing and equipment to respond to medical emergencies; (2) compliance with the requirement that all tissue removed at the time of an abortion be submitted to a pathologist and that the resultant tissue report be made a part of the patient's permanent record; (3) review patient records to ensure that no consent forms or other documentation authorizes any utilization of fetal organs or tissue in violation of state law; (4) compliance with state law prohibiting the use of public funds, facilities, and employees to perform or assist a prohibited abortion or to encourage or counsel a women to have a prohibited abortion; (5) compliance with state law requiring any physician performing or inducing abortions to have the appropriate hospital surgical and admitting privileges; and (6) compliance with the requirement in state law that continuous physician or registered professional nursing services be provided whenever a patient is in the facility. Additionally, the inspection and investigation reports shall be available to the public, provided that information not subject to disclosure under the law be redacted.

This act contains provisions that are similar to provisions in HCS/HBs 2069 & 2371 (2016), SB 33 (2015) and HB 190 (2015).