State

Briefs

Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Spring  2020      vol.  3  issue  2

 

 

A summary of state legislation January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

 

Alabama:

Born-Alive Infants Protection Act:

March 11, 2020 – The Alabama House Judiciary Committee passed HB 248. The bill would mandate that those children born from either an abortion or attempted abortion be given emergency medical treatment consistent with a child of their gestational age. It now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

 

Arizona:

Public Funds for Abortion Alternatives:

February 4, 2020 – The Senate Appropriations Committee approved SB 1328, 5-4. The bill would mandate that no funds go to an organization that does abortions or abortion referrals. It stipulates public funds would be used for abortion alternatives such as organizations that promote adoption over abortion. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

 

California:

Mandated Insurance Coverage: Abortion

February 24, 2020 – The State of California has renewed its mandate forcing churches to pay for abortion through their insurance programs. Currently, the Trump Administration has told the state that it is in violation of the Weldon Amendment and that federal law protects conscience rights.

 

 

Colorado:

Insurance Coverage for IVF Treatments:

February 13, 2020 – The Colorado Building Families Act HB 1158, passed out of the House Health & Insurance Committee. The bill would mandate that insurance programs cover IVF fertility treatments. The bill now moves to the Appropriations Committee for consideration.

 

February 19, 2020 – HB 1158 was passed by the House. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

 

Florida:

IVF Contracts Regarding Embryonic Children Disposal:

March 5, 2020 – The Florida Senate passed SB 698 unanimously. The bill would codify that a contract must be made prior to IVF treatments regarding the disposition of the embryos if the couple were to divorce, separate, or do not want any more children. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 11, 2020 – The Florida House has passed SB 698. The bill now moves to Governor Ron DeSantis for either his signature or veto.

 

Parental Consent:

January 15, 2020 – The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee voted out, 3-2, SB 404 which would require a parent to give his/her consent prior to the minor getting an abortion. The bill now moves to the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.

 

January 22, 2020 – The Florida Senate Rules Committee passed an amended version of SB 404. The bill not only includes parental consent, but also has been broadened in its scope to allow for amendments that could outlaw certain types of abortions.

 

February 6, 2020 – The Senate passed SB 404. The measure will now move to the House for consideration.

 

February 20, 2020 – The House passed SB 404. The measure now moves to the Governor’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Idaho

Abortion “Trigger” Ban:

March 12, 2020 – The Idaho Senate passed SB 1385, 27-5. This bill, if signed, would become law (triggered) when Roe v. Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court. It would outlaw abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, and when the life of the mother is endangered. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

March 16, 2020 – The Idaho House has passed SB 1385

 

March 27, 2020 – Governor Brad Little signed SB 1385.

 

Choose Life License Plates:

February 11, 2020 – The Idaho Senate passed SB 1249, 26-9, that would mandate the creation of a Choose Life license plate. The purchase proceeds  would go to Choose Life Idaho who would then provide grants to pregnancy resource centers. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

February 25, 2020 – SB 1249 passed the House. The bill now moves to the Governor’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

March 5, 2020 – Governor Brad Little signed SB 1249 into law.

 

 

Indiana:

Informed Consent:

February 28, 2020 – The Indiana House passed SB 299, 78-13. The bill mandates that women seeking a medical abortion that the drugs taken will expel their unborn child’s body. It further informs them that they have the right to take the unborn child’s body back to the abortion facility for burial or cremation. The bill also holds abortion clinics accountable for proper disposition of the remains by increasing documentation and reporting. The bill goes back to the Senate for the Senate to agree upon the House amendments.

 

March 19, 2020 – Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 299 into law.

 

 

Iowa:

Constitutional Amendment: No Right to Abortion

January 16, 2020 – An Iowa Senate subcommittee passed, 2-1, SJR 21. This would amend the state constitution stating that there is no right to abortion. The resolution now moves to the full senate committee.

 

February 5, 2020 – The Iowa House Judiciary Subcommittee passed, 2-1, HSB 577. This would amend the state constitution stating that there is no right to abortion. The bill now moves to the full committee for consideration.

 

February 13, 2020 – The Iowa Senate passed SJR 21, 32-18. The Resolution now moves to the House for consideration.

 

Waiting Period/Ultrasound:

February 18, 2020 – An Iowa Senate subcommittee has passed SF 2215. The bill would require a 72 hour waiting period prior to the abortion and an ultrasound. The ultrasound provides the pregnant mother a real-time view of her child and helps show the humanity of the child. The waiting period is designed to help her consider the risks and dangers posed by abortion to her and her unborn child. The bill now moves to Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

 

Kansas:

Constitutional Amendment: No Right to Abortion

February 7, 2020 – The Kansas House fell four votes shy of passing the required two-thirds vote for the proposed amendment to pass. The amendment would have stated that there was no right to abortion under the state constitution.

 

 

Kentucky:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

January 24, 2020 – The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military, and Public Protection passed SB 9 unanimously. The bill would mandate that those children born from either an abortion or attempted abortion be given emergency medical treatment consistent with a child of their gestational age. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

January 28, 2020 – The Kentucky Senate passed SB 9, 32-0. It now moves to the Kentucky House for consideration.

 

Constitutional Amendment: No Right to Abortion:

February 19, 2020 – The House Standing Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs passed the proposed amendment HB 67, 11-7. The proposal, if enacted, would state that there is no right to abortion within the state constitution. The measure now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 10, 2020 – The House passed HB 67, 71-21. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

January 28, 2020 – The Kentucky Attorney General’s office argued before the US Sixth Court of Appeals regarding the 2018 ban that was passed by the legislature to prohibit the practice of dismemberment abortions on a living unborn child. A federal district court ruled the law to be unconstitutional. The Kentucky AG appealed that ruling.

 

Enforcing Abortion Restrictions:

March 10, 2020 – The Kentucky House passed HB 451, 70-23. This bill would allow the state Attorney General the power to enforce abortion restrictions by broadening his authority to seek civil and criminal penalties against violators. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 26, 2020 – The Kentucky Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 451. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

 

Maryland:

Insurance Coverage for IVF Treatments:

February 27, 2020 – The House passed a bill that will mandate insurance coverage for unmarried people. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

 

Massachusetts:

Assisted Suicide:

January 10, 2020 – A Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that the state constitution recognizes no right to assisted suicide.

 

 

Mississippi:

Heartbeat Law:

February 20, 2020 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Mississippi’s law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected unconstitutional.

 

Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act:

March 3, 2020 – The House Judiciary Committee passed HB 1295. The bill would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child based on sex, race, or genetic disorder. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

March 13, 2020 – The House passed HB 1295, 79-33. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

 

New Jersey:

Public Funding of Abortion:

January 2, 2020 – Governor Phil Murphy signed SB 4103 which would give $9.5 million to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The bill is intended to help cover the funds that Planned Parenthood will not be receiving from federal Title X funds since the Protect Life rule went into effect.

 

 

Ohio:

Telemed Abortion Ban:

March 4, 2020 – The Ohio Senate passed SB 260, 21-9. The bill would prohibit the practice of chemical abortions through telemedicine. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

 

Oklahoma:

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

February 17, 2020 – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 1859, 7-4. The bill would prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around 5-6 weeks gestation. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 12, 2020 – The Oklahoma Senate passed SB 1859. The bill now moves to the Oklahoma House for consideration.

 

Medical License Revocation:

February 6, 2020 – The Oklahoma House passed HB 1182, 71-21. The bill, if enacted, would mandate that any doctor who performs an abortion within the state would have their medical license revoked for a period of up to six months and pay a fine of up to $500. The bill contains a life of the mother exception. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

Telemed Abortion Ban:

February 10, 2020 – Oklahoma County District Judge, Natalie Mai, refused to block enforcement of the Oklahoma ban on telemed abortions.

 

 

South Dakota:

Commercial Surrogacy:

January 29, 2020 – The South Dakota House Judiciary Committee passed HB 1096 which would prohibit commercial surrogacy within the state of South Dakota. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

February 6, 2020 – The South Dakota House passed HB 1096, 46-20. The bill was slightly amended. The amendment would create an interim legislative committee to investigate the issue while the law was in effect. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 26, 2020 – HB 1096 was defeated in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill was voted down 4-3.

 

 

Tennessee:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

March 11, 2020 – The Tennessee House Health Committee passed the Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act. The bill would mandate that a woman who is receiving a chemical abortion receive information that the procedure can be halted and reversed. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

 

Utah:

Humane Fetal Disposition:

January 31, 2020 – A Utah Senate Committee advanced SB 67, 4-2. The bill, if enacted, would mandate that aborted babies have their remains humanely disposed of by either being buried or cremated.

 

February 11, 2020 – The Utah Senate passed SB 67, 22-6. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 4, 2020 – The Utah House passed an amended version of SB 67, 58-14. The bill still mandates that those children killed in abortion have their remains humanely disposed of by either burial or cremation. The bill is no longer applicable to those unborn children who have died by natural causes and are miscarried. The bill goes back to the full Senate for approval.

 

March 12, 2020 – The Utah Senate passed SB 67. The bill now moves to Governor Gary Herbert’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

March 28, 2020 – Governor Gary Herbert signed SB 67.

 

Insurance Coverage for IVF Treatments:

February 14, 2020 – The Utah House passed a bill that would require certain insurance companies to cover IVF treatments for couples that suffer from certain genetic abnormalities. The bill would allow for the creation of embryonic children and those embryonic children that have the genetic abnormality could be destroyed under the language of the bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 24, 2020 – The Senate Business and Labor Committee passed HB 214. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 10, 2020 – The Senate amended HB 214. The bill goes back to the House for it to concur with the amendment or not.

 

March 11, 2020 – The House concurred. The bill now moves to the Governor Gary Herbert’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

March 28, 2020 – Governor Gary Herbert has signed HB 214.

 

Trigger Ban:

February 26, 2020 – The Utah Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed, 4-2, SB 174. This bill, if signed, would become law (triggered) when Roe v. Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court. It would outlaw abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, and when the life of the mother is endangered. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 2, 2020 – The Utah Senate voted, 22-6, to pass SB 174. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 9, 2020 – The Utah House Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 174, 10-3. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

March 12, 2020 – The Utah House passed SB 174. It moves to Governor Gary Herbert’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

March 28, 2020 – Governor Gary Herbert signed SB 174 into law.

 

Ultrasound Bill:

March 5, 2020 – The Utah House passed HB 364. This bill would require a woman to be given a detailed description of her unborn child and have the child’s heartbeat made audible so she can hear 72 hours prior to the abortion. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 9, 2020 – The Utah Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed HB 364. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 10, 2020 – The Utah Senate passed HB 364, 16-7.

 

Virginia:

Equal Right Amendment:

January 9, 2020 – A Virginia Senate Committee voted, 10-5, in favor to pass the Equal Right Amendment. The Amendment is considered dangerous because it contains language that would codify abortion into the US Constitution. The US Department of Justice has declared that the amendment cannot pass and become a constitutional amendment since the US Congress set a deadline for the amendment to pass by 1982. The amendment now moves to the Virginia Senate Floor for consideration.

 

Repeal of Physician Only Requirement & Informed Consent:

January 28, 2020 – The Virginia House passed HB 980 that would repeal the state’s pro-life laws that mandate informed consent and the requirement that only physicians perform abortions. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

January 29, 2020 - The Virginia Senate passed SB 733, 21-20, that would repeal the state’s pro-life laws that mandate informed consent and the requirement that only physicians perform abortions. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

February 24, 2020 – The Senate passed HB 980, 21-20. Bill now moves to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Surrogacy:

February 4, 2020 – The Virginia Senate unanimously voted in favor of HB 1473. The bill, if enacted, would allow the surrogate to determine if she wants to abort a child or not. Unfortunately, the biological parent or parents of the child would have no say if the child is aborted. The bill moves back to the House since the bill was amended in the Senate.

 

 

West Virginia:

Born-Alive Infants Protection Act:

January 9, 2020 – The West Virginia House Health and Human Resources Committee passed HB 4007. The bill would mandate that those unborn children that survive an abortion attempt or an abortion must be given reasonable medical care. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

January 15, 2020 – The House Health passed HB 4007 on a voice vote. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

January 30, 2020 – The Senate Health Committee passed HB 4007, 11-1. The bill now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

 

February 10, 2020 – The Senate passed HB 4007, 32-0. The bill now moves to Governor Jim Justice for either his signature or veto.

 

March 2, 2020 – Governor Justice signed HB 4007 into law.

 

 

Wyoming:

Waiting Period:

February 18, 2020 – The House Judiciary Committee passed HB 197. The bill would mandate that a woman must wait 48 hours from the time she arrives at the physician’s office to the actual procedure. Waiting periods are critical to help women think critically about the risk and dangers of abortion to herself and her unborn child. The bill moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

Born-Alive Infants Protection Act:

March 27, 2020 – Governor Mark Gordon vetoed SF 97, which would have protected those children born from either an attempted abortion or botched abortion by mandating they receive the appropriate medical care for an infant of their gestational age.