Missouri Omnibus Bill Regarding Enforcement of Abortion Laws (HB 1846)
Last updated: Apr 20, 2014
HB 1846 contained multiple provisions related to the enforcement of existing laws regulating abortion.
Abortion Misconduct Whistleblower Protection Act
The bill would have prohibited abortion clinics from retaliating against an employee who discloses information related to misconduct, improper patient care, or violation of federal and state laws related to regulation of abortion clinics.
Currently, any licensed health-care professional who delivers a baby or performs an abortion and has evidence that a patient has been the victim of statutory rape or sexual assault is required to report the offenses to the children’s division within the Missouri Department of Social Services. This bill would have required that, upon receipt of a report required by these provisions, the department must send a summary of the report made, including all of the facts reported, to the licensed health-care professional who made the report. The licensed health-care professional who made the report would have been required to include the summary as part of the patient’s medical records.
This bill would have required abortion clinics and doctors who refer a woman for abortion services out-of-state to provide the informed consent materials required by Missouri law. If the referral was not made in person, the printed department materials must have been mailed to the woman seeking the referral.
This bill would have required every hospital to maintain and make available to the public a list of all physicians currently having clinical privileges at that hospital.
The bill would have also required that the state Department of Health and Senior Services do an annual on-site inspection and investigation of any ambulatory surgical center operated for the purpose of performing or inducing any second or third trimester abortions or five or more first trimester abortions per month. The department would have been required to make its inspection and investigation reports available to the public with redactions of information not subject to disclosure under the law.
According to Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri:
Significant restrictions specifically targeting abortion providers are already on the law books in Missouri.
Currently, ANY provider that performs 5 or more first trimester abortions – surgical or medication – must be specifically licensed under the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) regulations by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Abortion providers are subject to extensive regulations related to personnel, physician qualifications record keeping, and a requirement that providers have hospital privileges so physicians are available to provide care for complications, in the rare event that they occur after an abortion, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services already conducts surveys to ensure compliance with the state’s existing extensive health center regulations and the targeted restrictions of abortion providers.
This bill would have created criminal liability for anyone who knowingly performs, induces, or aids in the performance of an abortion contrary to the provisions of Missouri laws regulation abortion, Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 188.010 through 188.085. An individual who violated this provision could have faced a Class D felony conviction.
A physician who performed or induced an abortion who did not have clinical privileges at a hospital which offers obstetrical or gynecological care located within thirty miles of the location at which the abortion is performed or induced could have faced a class D felony conviction.
After a public hearing on March 26, 2014, the bill was referred to the House Rules Committee.
***As of April 2014, there is only one abortion clinic operating in Missouri It is located in St. Louis.