“…. (b) At least seventy-two hours prior to the abortion, the abortion provider has provided the woman in writing and, where applicable, orally….
…. c. A description of the development of the child’s nerve endings and the child’s ability to feel pain at each stage of development….”
Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013 06:45 AM CDT
New laws banning abortion after 20 weeks are based on pseudoscience — and real research proves it conclusively
Since Nebraska first jump-started the trend back in 2010, close to a dozen state legislatures across the country have passed laws banning abortion at 20 weeks. Most of these restrictions are given grave-sounding titles like the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” or some near-identical riff on the words “fetal,” “pain” and “protection.” All of them, no matter what they’re called, rest on the stated premise that a fetus can experience pain at 20 weeks, and that this is a sufficient justification to ban all abortions after this gestational stage.
But “fetal pain” in the popular discourse is a nebulous concept, one that lawmakers like Jodie Laubenberg, Trent Franks and others haven’t much bothered to define or help ground in available medical evidence.
Probably because there really isn’t any. The limited research used to support such claims has been refuted as pseudoscience by the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Center for Cosmetic & Reconstructive Gynecology and the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (Not to mention smaller studies from researchers at Harvard University, University College London and elsewhere.)….
….Because the neural structures necessary to feel pain have not yet developed, any observable responses to stimuli at this gestational stage – like the fetal “flinching” during an amniocentesis – are reflexive, not experiential. Which is to say, the fetus at 20 weeks can’t actually feel anything at all. Which is to say, the fundamental justification for these laws is a really big, really popular lie….
A bill, introduced yesterday by Representative Chuck Gatschenberger (r):
SECOND REGULAR SESSION
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES GATSCHENBERGER (Sponsor), HICKS AND SWAN (Co-sponsors).
5407H.02I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 188, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the ultrasound informed consent act, with penalty provisions.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 188, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 188.090, to read as follows:
188.090. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Ultrasound Informed Consent Act”.
2. For purposes of this section the following terms shall mean:
(1) “Abortion”, the act of using or prescribing any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman with knowledge or reason to believe that the termination by those means will cause the death of the unborn child. Such use, prescription, or means is not an abortion if done with the intent to:
(a) Save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child;
(b) Remove a dead unborn child who did not die as a result of an intentional, knowing, or reckless action to terminate a pregnancy; or
(c) Remove an ectopic pregnancy;
(2) “Abortion provider”, a person performing or inducing an abortion or the facility at which the abortion is to be performed or induced;
(3) “Conflict of interest disclaimer”, a written or oral statement divulging the abortion provider’s gross income from the previous fiscal year, as well as the percentage of that income which was obtained as fees for the performance of abortions, together with a statement concerning the monetary loss to the abortion provider which would result from the woman’s decision to carry the pregnancy to term;
(4) “Medical emergency”, a condition which so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman that the death of the woman would result from the failure to immediately terminate the pregnancy.
3. (1) No abortion shall be performed or induced without the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the abortion is performed or induced. Except in the case of a medical emergency, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed only if:
(a) At least seventy-two hours before the abortion, the physician who is to perform the abortion has informed the woman orally and in writing of the following:
a. The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
b. A thorough and accurate description of the proposed method for performing the abortion, including information on the probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed and the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of an unborn child at that age;
c. A description of immediate and long-term physical and psychological risks involved in the abortion procedure including, but not limited to, the risks of infection, hemorrhage, cervical or uterine perforation, risks to subsequent pregnancies, infertility, and increased risk of breast cancer;
d. A description of alternatives to abortion, including the availability of adoption alternatives and the availability of financial help from adoptive parents and other sources for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care expenses;
e. A description of medical assistance benefits that may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care together with the names and contact information for individuals and organizations that may be willing to assist with the costs involved in carrying the pregnancy to term and information on the liability of the father for child support and other expenses;
f. A conflict of interest disclaimer; and
g. Any other medical or other information that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether to have an abortion;
(b) At least seventy-two hours prior to the abortion, the abortion provider has provided the woman in writing and, where applicable, orally:
a. A current sonogram of the unborn child portraying the entire body of the unborn child, including:
(i) A verbal description of all relevant features of the sonogram with audible heartbeat if present;
(ii) Upon request and without additional charge, a photograph or print of the sonogram of a quality consistent with the current standard medical practice;
(iii) In order to provide the possibility of a second opinion, a list of all known sonogram providers within a ten-mile radius of the abortion provider or if there are no such sonogram providers within a ten-mile radius of the abortion provider, a list of all known sonogram providers within a fifty-mile radius of the abortion provider; and
(iv) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the pregnant woman from not listening to the sounds detected by the fetal heart monitor or from not viewing the images displayed on the ultrasound screen;
b. The probable gestational age of the unborn child, including provision of color photographs of fetal development within a four-week increment of the age of the unborn child and during each succeeding four-week increment during the pregnancy;
c. A description of the development of the child’s nerve endings and the child’s ability to feel pain at each stage of development;
d. Relevant information on the potential survival of the child at his or her current stage of development;
e. A statement that the woman is free to withhold or withdraw her consent to the abortion at any time without affecting her right to care or treatment in the future and without the loss of any state or federal benefits to which she might otherwise be entitled; and
f. Any other medical or other information that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether to have an abortion;
(2) The information provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be provided individually in a private room and the woman shall be provided with an adequate opportunity to ask questions and receive answers she can understand;
(3) If the woman is unable to read the written materials provided to her under the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, they shall be read to her and, if necessary, shall be explained in a way understandable to her. If the woman is unable to understand the sonogram, it shall be explained to her;
(4) The woman shall sign separate statements that the abortion provider has complied with each of the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection. The abortion provider shall, under oath and penalty of perjury, sign separate statements that he or she has complied with each of the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection;
(5) No abortion provider may accept payment, nor may the abortion provider legally or otherwise bind a woman to make payment for the performance or inducement of an abortion prior to the expiration of seventy-two hours from the abortion provider’s fulfillment of all of the provisions of paragraph (a) of subdivision (1) of this subsection;
(6) Whoever intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates any provision of this section or who performs an abortion with reason to believe such an abortion is a violation of this section shall be imprisoned for up to ten years, fined not more than one million dollars for each violation, or both;
(7) Any person or entity which has been convicted under the provisions of this section shall be referred to the professional disciplinary authority in this state.
4. Whoever is aggrieved by a violation of this section by an abortion provider may bring a cause of action against the abortion provider for damages, punitive damages, treble damages, and such equitable remedies as the court may deem appropriate.
5. (1) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to preempt or supersede any provision of law or any provision of law which is more restrictive than the provisions of this section or create or recognize any right to an abortion or to sanction, approve of, or expand in any way the legality of abortion;
(2) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or word, phrase, or application thereof is found to be invalid, that invalidity shall not affect the validity of the provisions or applications of the section not found to be invalid.
[emphasis in original]
“….(4) The woman shall sign separate statements that the abortion provider has complied with each of the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection. The abortion provider shall, under oath and penalty of perjury, sign separate statements that he or she has complied with each of the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection….”
Shall sign separate statements for each of the provisions? Who knew that Representative Gatschenberger (r) was an enthusiastic patron of useless paperwork and bureaucracy?