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New Hampshire Abortion Information Act (HB 1707)

This law was last updated on Sep 6, 2018


This law is Anti–Choice

State

New Hampshire

Number

HB 1707

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Jan 3, 2018

Topics

Informed Consent, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling

Full Bill Text

gencourt.state.nh.us

HB 1707 would prohibit an abortion from being performed or induced without the voluntary and informed consent of the pregnant person upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced.

Forced Waiting Period

Except in the case of a medical emergency, consent to an abortion would only be considered voluntary and informed if all of the following requirements are met:

At least 24 hours prior to the abortion, the physician or referring physician has informed the pregnant person orally, and in person:

  • The name of the physician performing the abortion;
  • Medically accurate information including:
    • a description of the proposed abortion method;
    • the immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the proposed abortion method including; and
    • alternatives to the abortion.
  • The probable gestational age of the fetus;
  • The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus; and
  • The medical risks associated with carrying the child to term.

At least 24 hours before the abortion, the pregnant person should be informed orally, and in person, that:

  • Medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care, and that more detailed information is contained in the printed materials;
  • Such materials will list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion;
  • The father of the fetus is liable to assist in the support of the child, even when he has offered to pay for the abortion. In the case of rape or incest, this information may be omitted;
  • The pregnant person is free to withhold or withdraw their consent to the abortion at any time.

At least 24 hours before the abortion, the pregnant person should be given a copy of the printed materials.  Reading and language assistance should be provided to the pregnant person if they are having difficulties with the printed materials.

The pregnant person would be required to certify in writing that they have received such materials.

Except in the case of an emergency, the physician would not be able to perform the abortion with certification from the pregnant person.

In the case of such an emergency, the physician would be required to certify in writing the nature of the medical emergency and the circumstances which necessitated the waiving of the informed consent requirements. The physician would also need to explain the medical emergency to the patient.

A physician may not require or obtain payment for a service provided to a patient who has inquired about an abortion or scheduled an abortion until the expiration of the 24-hour reflection period required.

Printed Materials

The bill would require the health department to publish printed materials in English and Spanish within 90 days after this chapter becomes law.

The materials should include:

  • Geographically indexed materials that inform the patient of public and private agencies and services available to assist a pregnant person through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while their child is dependent, including but not limited to adoption agencies.
  • A comprehensive list of the agencies, a description of the services they offer, and the telephone numbers and addresses of the agencies, and shall inform the pregnant person about available medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care.

Such materials may not directly or indirectly promote, exclude, or discourage the use of any agency or service.

The materials must also state that it is unlawful for any individual to coerce a pregnant person to undergo an abortion and that if a minor is denied financial support by the minor’s parents, guardian, or custodian due to the minor’s refusal to have an abortion performed, the minor shall be deemed emancipated for the purposes of eligibility for public-assistance benefits, except that such benefits may not be used to obtain an abortion.

The materials must also include the following statement:

“There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you to carry your child to term, and to assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place her or him for adoption.  The state of New Hampshire strongly urges you to contact one or more of these agencies before making a final decision about abortion.  The law requires that your physician or his or her agent give you the opportunity to call agencies like these before you undergo an abortion.”

Civil Penalties

Failure to comply with any provision of this bill could result in civil malpractice action for actual and punitive damages, and professional disciplinary action.


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