State

Briefs

Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Summer 2018        vol. 1  issue 3 

 

A summary of state legislation from April - July, 2018

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

AR

Abortion Clinic Regulation:

July 2, 2018 – US District Judge Kristine Baker blocked an Arkansas law which mandated abortion clinics that sell abortion drugs to maintain an agreement with another doctor who has hospital admitting privileges to treat patients who experience emergency complications. This law originally passed in 2015. Judge Baker originally ruled the law unconstitutional and the Eighth Court of Appeals reversed the decision. The United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

 

July 6, 2018 – The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has filed an appeal.

 

 

 

 

AZ

Parental Right to Embryo:

April 4, 2018 – Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1393 into law. The law would allow a biological parent who wants to keep frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization to be awarded custody if a court dispute arises on what to do with the human embryos. The bill moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

Abortion Reporting Requirements:

April 9, 2018 –SB 1394 passed the Arizona House, 35-22. If enacted, SB 1394 would require abortionists to ask the exact reason why a woman is seeking an abortion, whether anesthesia was used on either the mother or child, what type of facility the abortion was performed in, and if the patients wanted to hear the unborn child’s heartbeat. In addition, the law would also require the reporting of abortion-related complications. The bill now heads to Governor Doug Ducey for either his signature or veto.

 

 

 

 

CA

Abortion Pill Mandate:

June 27, 2018 – The California State Assembly on Higher Education passed, 8-3, SB 320 which would mandate that all California public colleges and university student health centers offer the abortion pill to students who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. The measure now moves to the full Assembly for consideration.

 

Assisted Suicide:

May 15, 2018 – A state judge has ruled that the Assisted Suicide law passed during a special session in 2015 was improperly passed by the legislature thereby nullifying the law. California Attorney General , Xavier Becerra, has stated he will appeal the ruling.

 

May 23, 2018 – The Fourth District of Appeals refused to stay the lower court’s ruling thereby letting the original ruling stand.

 

June 15, 2018 – The Fourth District Court of Appeals has decided to reinstate the assisted suicide law during the litigation process.

 

Pro-Life Free Speech:

June 26, 2018 – The United States Supreme Court ruled that a California law that mandated  crisis pregnancy centers advertise that California offers abortion at a reduced cost or free of charge was unconstitutional.

 

 

 

 

HI

Assisted Suicide:

April 5, 2018 – Governor David Ige signed HB 2739 into law. The law would allow for physicians to assist in their patients’ suicides.

 

 

 

 

 

IN

Abortion Ban on Unborn Children with Downs Syndrome:

April 19, 2018 – The Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that the bill that prohibits the abortion of unborn children with Downs Syndrome and other disabilities is unconstitutional.

 

Abortion Injury Reporting:

June 29, 2018 – US Federal District Judge Richard Young granted a preliminary injunction against SB 340 from going into effect. The measure would mandate that any doctor who treats a woman for abortion complications would have to report it to the Indiana Department of Health.

 

Undue Burden Federal Case:

June 21, 2018 – Several abortion rights groups and providers filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana regarding several of its pro-life laws. The lawsuit alleges that the state laws are an “undue burden” as established by the Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt case.

 

 

 

IA

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

May 2, 2018 – SB 359 passed the House and Senate agreed. The bill would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. If an abortionist were to knowingly perform an abortion on an unborn child whose heartbeat has been detected could face jail time. The bill now heads to Governor Kim Reynolds desk for either her signature or veto.

 

May 4, 2018 – The bill was signed by Governor Kim Reynolds.

 

May 15, 2018 – The ACLU and Planned Parenthood announced they will challenge SB 359 in court. It was also announced that Iowa Attorney General will not defend SB 359 in court. Outside counsel will have to be hired.

 

May 21, 2018 – The Executive Council approved that the Thomas More Society will defend SB 359 on behalf of the state of Iowa in federal court.

 

June, 1 -2018 – A county judge placed a temporary hold on the state enforcing the new law while the trial moves forward.

 

June 19, 2018 – Save the 1 filed suit in Iowa yesterday in Polk County Iowa arguing that the rape and incest exceptions are discriminatory and should be stricken from the law.

 

Informed Consent (Waiting Period):

June 29, 2018 – The Iowa Supreme Court struck down Iowa’s 72 hour waiting period for abortion law on the basis that it violated women’s equal rights. The dissenting opinion noted that it was odd that the majority found this law objectionable while there are mandatory waiting periods for giving up a child for adoption.

 

Surrogacy Contract:

July 6, 2018 – A surrogate mother is appealing a February Iowa Supreme Court decision to the United States Supreme Court. The February decision allowed surrogacy contracts to be enforceable in the state of Iowa.

 

 

 

KS

Telemedicine Abortions:

April 30, 2018 – An agreement was reached by both House and Senate chambers, when a telemedicine bill, HB 2028, was passed that contained language prohibiting abortion providers from practicing telemedicine when it came to chemical abortions. The bill passed the Senate 31-8. Later in the day, the House passed the measure, 107-13. The measure now moves to Governor Jeff Coyler for either his signature or veto.

 

May 12, 2018 – Gov. Jeff Coyler signed HB 2028 into law.

 

 

 

 

KY

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

April 10, 2018 – Governor Matt Bevin signed HB 454 into law. The ACLU immediately filed to have the law blocked from enforcement.

 

April 13, 2018 – The Federal District for the Western District of Kentucky has blocked enforcement of HB 454 pending a hearing in June.

 

May 29, 2018 – The Federal District Court upheld the injunction pending the outcome of the November trial.

 

 

 

 

LA

Informed Consent (Adoption Information):

April 4, 2018 – The House Health and Welfare Committee passed HB 449 which would amend the current informed consent law regarding abortion. The bill, if enacted, would give women more information about adoption, including open adoption.

 

Informed Consent (Falsifying Documents):

May 7, 2018 – SB 325 passed the House Health and Welfare Committee. This bill, if enacted, would prohibit abortion clinics from falsifying, destroying, or pre-filling documents from the states Woman’s Right to Know Law”. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

Prohibition on Abortion Coercion:

May 7, 2018 – SB 534 passed the House Administration on Criminal Justice Committee, 8-4. The bill prohibits the practice of coercing women into having an abortion. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

15 Week Gestation Abortion Ban

April 17, 2018 – SB 181 passed out of Committee. The bill would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of conception. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

 

April 24, 2018 – The Louisiana Senate passed SB 181 by a vote of 31-3. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

May 2, 2018 – The House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed SB 181, 9-8. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

May 15, 2018 – The House voted, 70-9, to pass SB 181. The bill now moves to Governor John Edwards for either his signature or veto. Governor Edwards has indicated in the past that he is inclined to sign the measure.

 

May 30, 2018 – Governor John Edwards signed SB 181. The law will not take effect unless Mississippi’s 15-week ban is upheld in court.

 

 

 

ME

Public Funds for Abortion:

May 16, 2018 – The Maine Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether MaineCare will pay for abortions or not. Currently, Maine law does not allow for abortions to be paid for by public funds except in cases of rape, incest, or where the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother.

 

 

 

 

MD

Pro-Life Free Speech:

June 28, 2018 – The United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of the City of Baltimore regarding an ordinance that was passed forcing crisis pregnancy centers within the city post a sign stating that they do not do abortions or abortion referrals. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declared the Baltimore law unconstitutional. The Fourth Court of Appeals decision stands.

 

 

 

 

MI

Baby Boxes:

May 16, 2018 – Michigan passed a package of bills that would amend the current Safe Haven laws to allow for the creation of baby boxes where parents can surrender their newborn children, if they desire, to locations such as a fire station, police station, or hospital.  These boxes are designed to help protect the baby and keep the baby safe. 

 

Pro-Life Budget:

June 12, 2018 – The Michigan Senate passed a budget, 33-2, that contains provisions that ensure no public funds would go to organizations that perform abortions. The budget now moves to Governor Rick Snyder for either his signature or veto.

 

June 21, 2018 – While Gov. Snyder signed the budget bill. His office announced that they refuse to enforce the provision which defunds Planned Parenthood stating that it is unenforceable. Right to Life of Michigan countered by stating that this provision within the budget is enforceable because of a 2002 law that was passed stating that state monies for family planning were to be prioritized to organizations that do not perform abortions.

 

 

 

 

MN

Ultrasound Bill:

May 4, 2018 – The Minnesota Senate passed SF 2849 on a bi-partisan vote. The bill would mandate that women be able to see an ultrasound prior to their abortion. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

May 10, 2018 – SF 2849 passed the Minnesota House, 79-48. The bill now moves to Governor Mark Dayton for either his signature or veto.

 

 

 

MO

20 Weeks Gestation Abortion Ban:

April 3, 2018 – HB 1266 passed the House on Third Reading. The bill would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of gestation. Currently, Missouri law prohibits abortion after 24 weeks of gestation. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

Free Speech:

April 16, 2018 – An ordinance proposal in St. Louis was voted down, 9-15, during a city council meeting.  The bill proposed buffer zones for abortion clinics. Many city council members expressed concern about the constitutionality of the bill.

 

Pro-Life Budget:

May 9, 2018 – The Missouri Legislature passed a budget that contains strong pro-life provisions. The bill would defund abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood. The budget now goes to Governor Eric Greitens for either his signature or veto.

 

Medicine Induced Abortion Restriction:

May 12, 2018 – A federal judge upheld Missouri’s restriction that an abortion clinic must find an OB-GYN “to be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to treat complications related to abortion drugs prescribed or administered” for those clinics who prescribe medical abortion drugs.

 

 

 

MT  

Nurses Performing Abortions:

April 9, 2018 –Montana District Court Judge Mike Menahan has ruled that the current state law that requires only doctors perform abortions be blocked pending the outcome of trial. The ACLU is challenging the law on a 1998 Montana Supreme Court decision which stated that a woman has the right to choose her “health care provider” for her abortion.

 

 

 

NE

Prohibition of Public Funds for Abortion:

April 3, 2018 – The budget bill (LB 944) passed the third reading in the Senate, 38-6. The budget contains a measure to cut taxpayer funds to abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood. The budget now moves to Governor Pete Ricketts. It is expected that Governor Rickets will approve the budget.

 

April 4, 2018 – KB 944 was signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts.

 

 

 

NJ

Gestational Agreements:

April 12, 2018 – S 482 passed the Assembly, 25-10. The legislation would allow surrogates to enter into legal contracts with the intended parents of the child to pay for reasonable costs such as medical expenses, attorney fees, and living expenses. Those who object to the bill assert that it violates the rights of the children and can exploit women who carry the children to term. The bill now goes to Governor Phil Murphy for either his signature or veto.

 

May 30, 2018 – Governor Phil Murphy has signed S 482.

 

 

 

OH

Public Funds for Abortion:

April 18, 2018 – The US Sixth Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that blocked Ohio’s 2016 law that prohibited that public funds go to organizations that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.

 

 

 

PA

Abortion Ban on Unborn Children with Downs Syndrome:

April 9, 2018 – HB 2050 was passed out of the House Health Committee. The bill, if enacted, would prohibit the practice of an abortionist knowingly aborting a child that has or may have Downs Syndrome. The measure now goes to the House Floor for a full vote.

 

April 16, 2018 – HB 2050 passed the House with a 139-56 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

June 13, 2018 – The Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 2050 with a 10-5 vote. The bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

 

 

 

SC

Abortion Prohibition:

May 2, 2018 – The Senate amended H 3548 to prohibit the practice of abortion, 28-10. Originally the bill was a dismemberment ban. The bill, as amended, does contain, rape, incest, and life of the mother exceptions. Members of legislature intend this bill to be challenged and hope that it will overturn Roe v. Wade. The bill must pass third reading.

 

May 4, 2018 – Senate Democrats successfully filibustered H 3548. A vote was taken after the filibuster to send the bill back to committee which passed. This effectively defeated the measure for the duration of the legislature.

 

Pro-Life Budget:

July 5, 2018 – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster vetoed portions of the Budget bill that would have given the state’s abortion industry roughly 16 million dollars.

 

 

 

 

TN

Ultrasound Bill:

April 3, 2018 – HB 108 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, 7-1. The bill mandates that women be able to see an ultrasound prior to their abortion. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

Prohibition of Public Funds for Abortion:

April 11, 2018 – Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 2494. This bill prohibits state funds from going to organizations that perform abortions.

 

 

 

TX

Undue Burden Federal Case:

June 14, 2018 – Several abortion rights groups and providers filed a federal lawsuit against Texas regarding several of its pro-life laws. The lawsuit alleges that the state laws are an “undue burden” as established by the Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt case. Texas’ parental notification/consent law, informed consent law, ultrasound law, and telemed prohibition are just a few of the laws that are being challenged.

 

 

 

VA

Undue Burden Federal Case:

June 20, 2018 – Several abortion rights groups and providers filed a federal lawsuit against Virginia regarding several of its pro-life laws. The lawsuit alleges that the state laws are an “undue burden” as established by the Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt case.

 

 

 

WI

Prohibition of Public Funds for Abortion:

April 3, 2018 – SB 128 was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker. The bill provides that public workers would not be able to use their government-provided health insurance to pay for abortion.