New Hampshire Viable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 595)
This law was last updated on Feb 12, 2015
HB 595 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 it is necessary to preserve the life of the child.
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.
According to the Statement of Findings included in the bill, “Children have been born as early as 21 weeks and 5 days gestation and lived healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Abortion would be prohibited after 21 weeks and 5 days post-fertilization, unless:
- it is necessary to avert the woman’s death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
- it is necessary to save the life of the unborn child. In such case, the physician is required to terminate the pregnancy in a manner which provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless such a procedure would cause 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.
- The probable post-fertilization age determined and the method and basis of determination.
- The basis of determination that a medical emergency existed.
- The basis of determination that the pregnant woman had a condition which so complicated her medical condition that an abortion was necessary to save her life, avert serious risk, or that is was necessary to preserve the life of the unborn child.
- The method used for the abortion and whether it provided the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive or, is such method was not used, the basis of determination that termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk either 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.
HB 595 would require the department of health and human services to issue a public report providing statistics of the previous year by June 30 each year. A physician who fails to submit a report within 30 days of 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 that it is overdue. Intentional or reckless falsification of any report required would be a class A misdemeanor.
In addition, any person who intentionally or recklessly performs or attempts to perform an abortion in violation of this law would be guilty of a class B felony. No penalty would be assessed against the woman whom the abortion is performed or attempted to be performed.
Under this law, any woman or father of the unborn child who was subject to such an abortion may seek damages or an injunctive relief against the physician who performed the abortion.
Tabled by committee.