Patrons-- Vogel, Smith, Black, Carrico, Colgan, Garrett, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Puckett, Ruff and Stanley; Delegate: Peace
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 18.2-76 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 18.2-76. Informed written consent required; civil penalty.
A. Before performing any abortion or inducing any miscarriage
or terminating a pregnancy as provided in §
B. Except in the case of a medical emergency, at least 2 hours before the performance of an abortion a qualified medical professional trained in sonography and working under the direct supervision of a physician licensed in the Commonwealth shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age. The ultrasound image shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus, if present or viewable. Determination of gestational age shall be based upon measurement of the fetus in a manner consistent with standard medical practice in the community in determining gestational age. When only the gestational sac is visible during ultrasound imaging, gestational age may be based upon measurement of the gestational sac. A print of the ultrasound image shall be made to document the measurements that have been taken to determine the gestational age of the fetus.
C. The qualified medical professional performing fetal ultrasound imaging pursuant to subsection B shall offer the woman an opportunity to view and receive a printed copy of the ultrasound image and hear auscultation of fetal heart tone and shall obtain from the woman written certification that this opportunity was offered and whether or not it was accepted. A printed copy of the ultrasound image shall be maintained in the woman's medical record at the facility where the abortion is to be performed for the longer of (i) seven years or (ii) the extent required by applicable federal or state law.
D. For purposes of this section:
"Informed written consent" means the knowing and voluntary written consent to abortion by a pregnant woman of any age, without undue inducement or any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, or other form of constraint or coercion by the physician who is to perform the abortion or his agent. The basic information to effect such consent, as required by this subsection, shall be provided by telephone or in person to the woman at least 24 hours before the abortion by the physician who is to perform the abortion, by a referring physician, or by a licensed professional or practical nurse working under the direct supervision of either the physician who is to perform the abortion or the referring physician; however, the information in subdivision 5 may be provided instead by a licensed health-care professional working under the direct supervision of either the physician who is to perform the abortion or the referring physician. This basic information shall include:
1. A full, reasonable and comprehensible medical explanation of the nature, benefits, and risks of and alternatives to the proposed procedures or protocols to be followed in her particular case;
2. An instruction that the woman may withdraw her consent at any time prior to the performance of the procedure;
3. An offer for the woman to speak with the physician who is to perform the abortion so that he may answer any questions that the woman may have and provide further information concerning the procedures and protocols;
4. A statement of the probable gestational age of the fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed and that fetal ultrasound imaging shall be performed prior to the abortion to confirm the gestational age; and
5. An offer to review the printed materials described in
The information required by this subsection may be provided by telephone
1. Geographically indexed materials designed to inform the
woman of public and private agencies and services available to assist a woman
through pregnancy, upon childbirth and while the child is dependent, including,
but not limited to, information on services relating to (i) adoption as a
positive alternative, (ii) information relative to counseling services,
benefits, financial assistance, medical care and contact persons or groups,
(iii) paternity establishment and child support enforcement, (iv) child
development, (v) child rearing and stress management,
2. Materials designed to inform the woman of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the human fetus at two-week gestational increments from the time when a woman can be known to be pregnant to full term, including any relevant information on the possibility of the fetus's survival and pictures or drawings representing the development of the human fetus at two-week gestational increments. Such pictures or drawings shall contain the dimensions of the fetus and shall be realistic and appropriate for the stage of pregnancy depicted. The materials shall be objective, nonjudgmental and designed to convey only accurate scientific information about the human fetus at the various gestational ages; and
3. Materials containing objective information describing the methods of abortion procedures commonly employed, the medical risks commonly associated with each such procedure, the possible detrimental psychological effects of abortion, and the medical risks commonly associated with carrying a child to term.
The Department of Health shall make these materials available at each local health department and, upon request, to any person or entity, in reasonable numbers and without cost to the requesting party.