New Hampshire 20-Week Abortion Ban (HB 1328)
Last updated: Feb 15, 2016
HB 1328 would prohibit physicians from performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant woman when the probable gestational age of the fetus has been determined to be at least 20 weeks, except in cases of medical emergency, rape, or incest.
If a physician performs an abortion and the child is born alive, the health care practitioner would be required to do exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the health and life of the child.
The bill states that the physician who intends to perform or attempt to perform an abortion shall not perform any part of the abortion procedure without first obtaining a signed informed consent authorization form (presented in person) that includes the following:
- A statement by the physician indicating the probable post-fertilization age of the “pain-capable unborn child”;
- A statement that federal law allows abortion after 20 weeks fetal age only if the mother’s life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, when the pregnancy was the result of rape, or an act of incest against a minor;
- A statement that the abortion must be performed by the method most likely to allow the child to be born alive unless this would cause significant risk to the mother;
- A statement that in any case in which an abortion procedure results in a child born alive, federal law requires that child to be given every form of medical assistance that is provided to children spontaneously born prematurely, including transportation and admittance to a hospital;
- A statement that these requirements are binding upon the physician and all other medical personnel who are subject to criminal and civil penalties and that a woman on whom an abortion has been performed may take civil action if these requirements are not followed; and
- Affirmation that each signer has filled out the informed consent form to the best of their knowledge and understands the information contained in the form.
The requirements listed above would not be necessary if the pregnant woman’s life was in danger.
Any person who intentionally or recklessly performs or attempts to perform an abortion in violation of this provision would be guilty of a class A felony. The bill prohibits a woman upon whom an abortion that violates this act has been performed from being prosecuted.
Any physician who performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion would be required to report to the department, the following:
- If a determination of probable postfertilization age was made, the probable postfertilization age determined and the method and basis of the determination.
- If a determination of probable postfertilization age was not made, the basis of the determination that a medical emergency existed.
- If the probable postfertilization age was determined to be 20 or more weeks, the basis of the determination that the pregnant woman had a condition which so complicated her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, or the basis of the determination that it was necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child.
- The method used for the abortion and, in the case of an abortion performed when the probable postfertilization age was determined to be 20 or more weeks, whether the method of abortion used was one that, in reasonable medical judgment, provided the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive or, if such a method was not used, the basis of the determination that termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk either of the death of the pregnant woman or of the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman than would other available methods.
Any physician who fails to submit a report by the end of 30 days following the due date would be subject to a late fee of $500 for each additional 30-day period or portion of a 30-day period the report is overdue.
Any physician who fails to submit a report, or submits only an incomplete report, more than one year following the due date, may face civil contempt.
Failure by any physician to conform to any requirement of this provision, other than late filing of a report, constitutes unprofessional conduct. Failure by any physician to submit a complete report in accordance with a court order constitutes unprofessional conduct. Intentional or reckless falsification of any report required under this section is a class A misdemeanor.