New York 20-Week and ‘Dismemberment Abortion’ Ban (A 4777)

This law was last updated on Feb 15, 2017


This law is Anti-Choice

State

New York

Number

A 4777

Status

Proposed

Proposed

Feb 3, 2017

Topics

20-Week Bans, Dilation and Evacuation Bans, Later Abortion, Reporting Requirements

Full Bill Text

assembly.state.ny.us

A 4777 would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, as well as abolish “dismemberment abortions,” except in the case of a medical emergency.

20-Week Ban

The bill would prohibit a person from performing an abortion upon another person when the gestational age of the fetus is 20 or more weeks unless all of the following conditions are met:

  • The procedure is necessary to either prevent the death of the pregnant patient or the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the patient;
  • A second physician certifies in writing such necessity;
  • The abortion is performed in a hospital;
  • The physician terminates the pregnancy in a manner which provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive; and
  • A second physician is in attendance to take control of the child immediately after complete extraction in order to provide medical care and take all steps necessary to preserve the child’s life and health.

The bill would require the pregnant patient to have an in-person medical consultation either with the physician who is to perform the procedure or with the referring physician. Such consultation would need to  be in a place, at a time and of a duration reasonably sufficient to enable the physician to determine whether the abortion is necessary.

The bill would amend the penal definition of homicide to include:

“[…]conduct which causes the death of a person or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty weeks under circumstances constituting murder, manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, abortion in the first degree or self-abortion in the first degree.”

Dismemberment Abortion

The bill would also prohibit an individual from performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion” upon another individual when the gestational age of the fetus 20 or more weeks unless:

  • The physician certifies in writing that the abortion is necessary to prevent either the death of the pregnant patient or the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the patient;
  • A second physician certifies in writing such necessity;
  • The abortion is performed in a hospital;
  • The physician terminates the pregnancy in a manner which provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive; and
  • A second physician is in attendance to take control of the child immediately after complete extraction in order to provide medical care and take all steps necessary to preserve the child’s life and health.

The bill would prohibit an individual from performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion” upon another individual when the gestational age of the fetus is less than 20 weeks unless:

  • The physician certifies in writing that the abortion is necessary to prevent either the death of the pregnant patient or the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the patient; and
  • A second physician certifies in writing such necessity.

The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean:

“The act of knowingly and purposefully causing the death of an unborn child by means of dismembering the unborn child and extracting the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments. The term does not include an abortion which is exclusively performed through suction curettage.”

Any person who violates this provision would be committing a class D felony.

The bill provides that the pregnant patient may not be held liable for performing or attempting to perform a dismemberment abortion.

This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used to perform an abortion. As such, dilation and evacuation bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation. (Source.)

Reporting Requirements

The bill would require a report of each abortion performed to be provided to the health department. The report would need to include the following information:

  • Identification of the physician who performed the abortion, the concurring physician, and the second physician, and the facility where the procedure was performed;
  • the county and state in which the patient resides;
  • the patient’s age;
  • the number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions of the patient;
  • the gestational age of the fetus at the time of the procedure;
  • the type of procedure performed or prescribed and the date of the abortion;
  • pre-existing medical conditions of the patient, and any known medical complication which resulted from the abortion itself;
  • the basis for the medical judgement that an abortion was necessary;
  • the weight of the aborted fetus; and
  • the basis for any medical judgement that a medical emergency existed which excused the physician from compliance with any provision of this law.

If passed, the law would take effect immediately.


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