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Ohio Bill Amending Informed Consent Requirements and Increasing Waiting Period (HB 200)

This law was last updated on Sep 17, 2014


State

Ohio

Number

HB 200

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Jun 11, 2013

Topics

Forced Ultrasound, Informed Consent, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling

Full Bill Text

www.legislature.state.oh.us

HB 200 would amend existing law (R.C. 2317.56) regarding abortion.

Waiting Period

The bill would increase the mandatory waiting period from 24 hours to 48 hours. It would require a physician to meet with the pregnant woman in an individual, private setting and give her an opportunity to ask questions about the procedure.

Informed Consent

The bill would require a physician to inform a woman seeking an abortion of the risks associated with abortion, including the risk of infection, hemorrhage, cervical or uterine perforation, and infertility, the risk to subsequent pregnancies, and the increased risk of breast cancer.

An increase in risk of breast cancer is not supported by medical research. In fact, a new study confirms that there is no causative link between abortion and breast cancer. The law also requires a physician to warn women that abortion threatens future fertility even though that is also not supported by medical research.

The bill also would require a physician to inform a woman of the probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus and the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the embryo or fetus at that age, as well as the medical risks associated with the pregnant woman carrying the pregnancy to term. Existing law requires the physician to provide this information verbally. Under the bill, that information would have to be provided in writing as well.

The bill also would:

  • Require a physician to provide the pregnant woman with a conflict of interest disclaimer. The bill defines “conflict of interest disclaimer” as a written statement divulging the following information: (1) The previous year’s gross income of a physician who performs or induces an abortion or of a facility where an abortion is performed or induced; (2) The percentage of that income that was obtained as fees for the performance of an abortion; and (3) The monetary loss to the physician or facility that would result from the woman’s decision to carry the pregnancy to term.
  • Require a physician to inform the pregnant woman whether she has a viable pregnancy. If the pregnancy is not viable, the physician would have to advise the pregnant woman that she will suffer a miscarriage with no further intervention.
  • Require a physician to provide the pregnant woman with a list of all known obstetric ultrasound providers within a specified radius.
  • Require the physician to describe the development of fetal nerve endings and the ability of the fetus to feel pain at each stage of development. (According to medical experts, there is no evidence that fetuses develop the neural pathways necessary to feel pain until well into the third trimester. (Source.)).
  • Require a physician to provide the pregnant woman with a statement that she is free to withdraw her consent at any time without affecting her right to future care and without the loss of any state or federal benefits. The physician would have to provide and receive that consent in a private room with sufficient time for the pregnant woman to ask questions and receive answers that the woman can understand.
  • Require that the physician scheduled to perform or induce the abortion provide, under oath and penalty of perjury, a signed statement that the physician has complied with the bill’s requirements.

Forced Ultrasound

The bill would require a physician to perform an ultrasound and describe all relevant features of the ultrasound, including any audible heartbeat. The pregnant woman would be permitted to refuse to listen to the fetal heart monitor or view the ultrasound images.

Definitions

The bill also would narrow the definition of “medical emergency,” removing language that included serious risks to the physical health of the woman; strike “medical necessity” from the definitions section and the law; and add a definition for “viable pregnancy” that only requires fetal cardiac activity and the presence of a fetal sac.

No Advanced Payment

The bill also would prohibit a physician from accepting payment or requiring payment before the 48-hour waiting period has expired and before the physician fulfills the bill’s requirements.

Penalty Provision

The bill would establish new criminal penalties. A violation of the law would be a first degree felony with up to a $1 million dollar fine.


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