New Hampshire Viable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 578)
This law was last updated on Dec 19, 2017
HB 578 would ban abortions after 21 weeks and 5 days post-fertilization unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother, avert serious bodily injury to the mother, or any other medical emergency.
According to the Statement of Findings included in the bill, “Children have been born as early as 21 weeks and 5 days gestation, and as small as 8.6 ounces, and lived healthy, fulfilling lives.”
The law states that except in the case of a medical emergency, no abortion shall be performed, induced, or attempted to be performed or induced unless the physician first determines the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child. The physician would be expected to question the patient and perform any necessary medical procedure necessary to determine how far along the woman is.
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 misdemeanor. No penalty would be assessed against the woman upon whom the abortion is performed or attempted to be performed.
Prior to performing or inducing an abortion after viability has been confirmed, the bill requires a physician to obtain the agreement of a second physician with knowledge of accepted obstetrical and neonatal practices and standards to concur that the abortion is necessary.
This second physician would also be required to report such reasons and determinations to the health care facility in which the abortion is to be performed and to the board of medicine, and enter such findings and determinations in the medical record of the woman and the individual abortion report submitted to the department.
The second physician may not have any legal or financial affiliation or relationship with the physician performing or inducing the abortion, unless the relationship is a result of being employed by or having staff privileges at the same hospital.
The bill requires an individual abortion report for each abortion performed or induced upon a woman and completed by her attending physician.
The bill also requires an individual complication report for any post-abortion care performed upon a woman and completed by the physician providing such post-abortion care. It should include:
- The date of the abortion;
- The name and address of the abortion facility or hospital where the abortion was performed; and
- The nature of the abortion complication diagnosed or treated.
All abortion reports would need to be signed by the attending physician, and submitted to the department within 45 days from the date of the abortion. All complication reports would need to be signed by the physician providing the post-abortion care and submitted to the department within 45 days from the date of the post-abortion care.
A copy of the abortion report would need to be made a part of the medical record of the patient of the facility or hospital in which the abortion was performed.
The state department would need to collect all abortion reports and complication reports and collate and evaluate all data gathered. Every year, beginning January 1, 2019, the state department would then be required to publish a statistical report based on such data from abortions performed in the previous calendar year.
Tabled by committee on March 9, 2019.