Senate File 39 - Introduced SENATE FILE 39 BY JOHNSON , SORENSON , FEENSTRA , BEHN , ANDERSON , ZAUN , BOETTGER , and SEYMOUR A BILL FOR An Act relating to informed consent to an abortion and 1 providing a criminal penalty, and providing effective dates. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj
S.F. 39 Section 1. NEW SECTION . 146A.1 Title. 1 This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Woman’s 2 Right to Know Act” . 3 Sec. 2. NEW SECTION . 146A.2 Definitions. 4 As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise 5 requires: 6 1. “Abortion” means abortion as defined in section 146.1. 7 2. “Attempt to perform an unlawful abortion” means an act, 8 or an omission of an act required by law, that constitutes a 9 substantial step in a course of conduct intended to culminate 10 in the performance of an abortion in violation of this chapter. 11 3. “Department” means the department of public health. 12 4. “Medical emergency” means any condition which, on 13 the basis of a physician’s good faith clinical judgment, 14 so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman 15 as to necessitate the immediate performance of an abortion 16 to avert the pregnant woman’s death, or to necessitate the 17 immediate performance of an abortion to avert a serious risk 18 of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily 19 function if the performance of the abortion is delayed. 20 5. “Physician” means a person licensed to practice medicine 21 and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery pursuant to 22 chapter 148. 23 Sec. 3. NEW SECTION . 146A.3 Voluntary and informed consent. 24 1. An abortion shall not be performed in this state without 25 the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the 26 abortion is to be performed. Except in the case of a medical 27 emergency, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed 28 only if the requirements of this section are met. 29 2. The referring physician, the physician who will perform 30 the abortion, or an agent of either physician shall provide 31 all of the following information to the woman by telephone, 32 by audiotape, or in person, at the time the woman initially 33 contacts the physician’s private office or a facility 34 that provides abortions to inquire about or to schedule an 35 -1- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 1/ 7
S.F. 39 appointment for an abortion: 1 a. Information that medical assistance benefits may be 2 available to the woman for prenatal care, childbirth, and 3 neonatal care. 4 b. Information that the putative father is liable to assist 5 in the support of the child and that efforts to collect support 6 may result in, but are not guaranteed to result in, financial 7 support of the child, even if the putative father has offered 8 to pay for the abortion. 9 c. Information that the woman has the right to review the 10 printed materials described in subsection 3. 11 d. Information that the woman has the right to have an 12 opportunity to receive and view an active ultrasound of 13 the fetus at least twenty-four hours before an abortion is 14 performed. 15 3. a. After being informed of the woman’s right to review 16 printed materials pursuant to subsection 2, if the woman wishes 17 to review the materials, all of the following shall apply: 18 (1) If the department establishes an internet site, the 19 woman shall be informed that the materials are available 20 through a state-sponsored internet site and shall be informed 21 of the internet site address. 22 (2) If the woman initially contacts the physician’s private 23 office or a facility that provides abortions in person, the 24 materials shall be provided to the woman at that time. 25 (3) If the woman initially contacts the physician’s private 26 office or a facility that provides abortions by telephone and 27 wishes to review the materials, the materials shall be mailed 28 to the woman by regular mail or by restricted certified mail, 29 as defined in section 618.15, as requested by the woman. 30 (4) The woman shall be informed that the materials have been 31 provided by the state and that they describe the fetus and list 32 agencies that offer alternatives to abortion. 33 b. The printed materials shall include all of the following: 34 (1) Geographically indexed materials designed to inform 35 -2- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 2/ 7
S.F. 39 the woman of public and private agencies and services 1 available to assist a woman through pregnancy, at the time 2 of childbirth, and while the child is dependent, including 3 adoption agencies. The materials shall include a comprehensive 4 list of the agencies available, categorized by the type of 5 services offered, and a description of the manner, including 6 telephone numbers, in which the agencies may be contacted. The 7 department may also provide a toll-free, twenty-four-hour-a-day 8 telephone number which may be called to obtain, orally, a list 9 and description of agencies in the locality of the caller and 10 of the services offered. 11 (2) Materials that encourage consideration of placement for 12 adoption. The materials shall inform the woman of the benefits 13 of adoption, including the requirements of confidentiality in 14 the adoption process, the importance of adoption to individuals 15 and society, and the state’s interest in promoting adoption by 16 preferring childbirth over abortion. 17 (3) Materials designed to inform the woman of the probable 18 anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus 19 at two-week gestational increments from the time that it is 20 medically possible to make a determination of pregnancy to full 21 term. The materials shall include any relevant information 22 regarding the possibility of the survival of the fetus and 23 pictures or drawings representing the development of the fetus 24 at two-week gestational increments, provided that any pictures 25 or drawings shall contain the dimensions of the fetus and 26 shall be realistic and appropriate for the state of pregnancy 27 depicted. The materials shall be objective, nonjudgmental, and 28 designed to convey only accurate scientific information about 29 the fetus at various gestational stages. The materials shall 30 also contain objective information describing the methods of 31 abortion procedures commonly used, the medical risks commonly 32 associated with each such procedure, the possible detrimental 33 psychological effects of abortion, and the medical risks 34 commonly associated with carrying a fetus to term. 35 -3- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 3/ 7
S.F. 39 4. A physician shall not perform an abortion on a woman 1 unless both of the following conditions are met: 2 a. The physician obtains written certification that the 3 information required pursuant to subsection 2 was provided 4 to the woman. The physician shall retain a copy of the 5 certification and shall provide a copy of the certification to 6 the woman. 7 b. The physician certifies that the woman has been offered 8 an opportunity to receive and view an active ultrasound of 9 the fetus. The offer and opportunity to receive and view an 10 ultrasound shall occur at least twenty-four hours before the 11 abortion is scheduled to be performed. In order to comply 12 with this requirement, the active ultrasound image must be 13 of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in 14 the community, must contain the dimensions of the fetus, and 15 must accurately portray the presence of external members 16 and internal organs, including the heartbeat, if present or 17 viewable, of the fetus. The auscultation of the fetal heart 18 tone also must be of a quality consistent with standard medical 19 practice in the community. The physician shall document the 20 woman’s response to the offer, including the date and time of 21 the offer and the woman’s signature attesting to the woman’s 22 informed decision. 23 5. a. By October 1, 2011, the department shall cause 24 the information described in subsection 3 to be published in 25 printed format. The information shall be provided in an easily 26 comprehensible manner. The information shall be published in 27 a typeface large enough to be clearly legible. The printed 28 information shall be available from the department at no cost, 29 upon request, and in an appropriate number, to any person. 30 b. The department may establish and maintain an internet 31 site to provide the information described in subsection 3. The 32 internet site shall provide for confidentiality of individuals 33 who access the site and no information identifying the 34 individual shall be collected or maintained. The department 35 -4- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 4/ 7
S.F. 39 shall monitor the internet site to ensure that the site is 1 secure and to prevent and correct any tampering with the site. 2 Sec. 4. NEW SECTION . 146A.4 Procedure in case of medical 3 emergency. 4 If a medical emergency necessitates the performance of 5 an abortion, the physician shall inform the woman, prior to 6 the performance of the abortion, if possible, of the medical 7 indications supporting the physician’s judgment that the 8 immediate performance of an abortion is necessary to avert the 9 woman’s death or that a delay in the performance of an abortion 10 will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible 11 impairment of a major bodily function. 12 Sec. 5. NEW SECTION . 146A.5 Criminal penalties. 13 1. A person who knowingly or recklessly performs or attempts 14 to perform an abortion in violation of this chapter is guilty 15 of a simple misdemeanor. 16 2. A criminal penalty shall not be imposed under this 17 chapter on a woman upon whom an abortion is performed or 18 attempted to be performed. A criminal penalty shall not be 19 imposed for failure of a woman to comply with the requirement 20 of written certification pursuant to section 146A.3, if the 21 department has not made the information available at the time 22 the physician or the physician’s agent is required to inform 23 the woman of the woman’s right to review the information. 24 Sec. 6. NEW SECTION . 146A.6 Protection of privacy in court 25 proceedings —— penalty. 26 1. In every criminal proceeding brought pursuant to this 27 chapter, the court proceedings shall be conducted in a manner 28 which protects the confidentiality of the woman, and all 29 court documents pertaining to the proceedings shall remain 30 confidential and shall be sealed. The court shall direct the 31 exclusion of individuals from courtrooms or hearing rooms to 32 the extent necessary to safeguard the woman’s identity from 33 public disclosure. 34 2. This section shall not be construed to conceal the 35 -5- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 5/ 7
S.F. 39 identity of witnesses from the defendant. 1 3. A person who knowingly violates the confidentiality 2 requirements of this section relating to court proceedings and 3 documents is guilty of a simple misdemeanor. 4 Sec. 7. Effective dates. 5 1. The provisions of this Act requiring the department 6 of public health to publish information described in section 7 146A.3, subsection 3, as enacted in this Act, by October 1, 8 2011, being deemed of immediate importance, take effect upon 9 enactment. 10 2. The remainder of this Act takes effect October 1, 2011. 11 EXPLANATION 12 This bill establishes new Code chapter 146A, relating to 13 informed consent prior to an abortion. The Code chapter is 14 known and cited as the “Woman’s Right to Know Act”. 15 The bill specifies the required informed consent provisions, 16 including provision of certain information to a woman by 17 the physician or an agent of the physician, and required 18 certification by the woman of provision to the woman of the 19 required information, receipt of the certification by the 20 physician prior to the performance of an abortion, and receipt 21 of documentation by the physician regarding the offering of an 22 active ultrasound, prior to the performance of an abortion. 23 The bill requires the department of public health to publish 24 information by October 1, 2011, relating to options for 25 managing a pregnancy. The bill authorizes the department 26 to establish and maintain an internet site to provide the 27 information. 28 The bill also provides for alternatives to providing 29 informed consent in the case of a medical emergency. 30 The bill establishes a criminal penalty of a simple 31 misdemeanor for a person who knowingly or recklessly performs 32 or attempts to perform an abortion in violation of the new 33 Code chapter. The bill prohibits the imposition of a criminal 34 penalty against a woman upon whom an abortion is performed 35 -6- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 6/ 7
S.F. 39 or attempted to be performed, and prohibits the imposition 1 of a criminal penalty against a woman for failure to comply 2 with certification requirements if the department has not made 3 the printed materials available as required. The bill also 4 provides for protection of confidentiality of a woman relative 5 to criminal court proceedings with regard to an action under 6 the new Code chapter. 7 The provisions relating to the department of public health 8 publishing information as prescribed in the bill take effect 9 upon enactment. The remainder of the bill takes effect October 10 1, 2011. 11 -7- LSB 1168SS (4) 84 pf/rj 7/ 7