State

Briefs

Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Spring 2018        vol. 1  issue 2 

 

A summary of state legislation from January 1-March 31, 2018

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

AZ

Abortion Reporting Requirements:

February 15, 2018 – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 1394 which, if enacted, 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.

 

February 22, 2018 – SB 1394 passed the Senate, 18-12. The measure now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 14, 2018 – The House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted to amend the bill. The bill will now only require the reporting of abortion-related complications.

 

Parental Right to Embryo:

February 7, 2018 – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 1393, which, if enacted, 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.

 

February 22, 2018 – The Senate passed SB 1393, 18-12. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 7, 2018 – The House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed SB 1393, 6-3. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 28, 2018 – The House approved SB 1393. The bill now moves to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

CA

Abortion Pill Mandate:

January 15, 2018 –The California Senate Education Committee passed, 4-2, 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.

 

January 29, 2018 –The California Senate passed SB 320. The measure now moves to the California Assembly.

 

Abortion Pill Reversal:

January 5, 2018 –The California Board of Registered Nursing has agreed to teach a class for nurses on how to reverse the effects of the abortion pill.

 

February 16, 2018 – The California nursing regulators unanimously agreed to bar a class that would teach nurses how to reverse the effects of the abortion pill.

 

FL

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

February 15, 2018 – The House Committee passed HB 1429 which would prohibit the practice of dismembering an unborn child in an abortion. The measure now moves to the full house for consideration.

 

March 1, 2018 – The Florida House passed, 72-42, HB 1429. The bill now moves to the Florida Senate for consideration.

 

Public Funding for Pregnancy Centers:

January 13, 2018 –The Florida House passed, 73-29, a measure that would permanently fund pregnancy centers in the state. At present, the 4 million dollars must be approved annually within the state budget.

 

March 20, 2018 – Governor Rick Scott signed HB 41 which will help fund pregnancy resource centers within Florida.

 

Waiting Period:

January 9, 2018 –Tallahassee Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that the 24 hour waiting period between the counseling and the abortion procedure was unconstitutional. Judge Lewis claimed that it violated a woman’s privacy rights in his decision.

 

HI

Assisted Suicide:

February 28, 2018 – The Hawaii House Health and Human Services Committee passed, 4-1, and the House Judiciary Committee passed, 7-1, HB 2739 which would allow for physicians to assist in their patients’ suicides.

 

March 6, 2018 – The Hawaii House passed HB 2739. The measure now goes to the Hawaii Senate for consideration.

 

March 29, 2018 – The Hawaii Senate passed HB 2739. Governor David Ige has indicated he will sign the bill.

 

ID

Abortion Reversal Drug:

February 12, 2018 –The Senate State Affairs Committee approved legislation, SB 1243, that would inform women receiving drug-induced abortions that the procedure may be halted halfway. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

              

February 20, 2018 – The Idaho Senate approved SB 1243. The bill will move to the House for consideration.

 

March 12, 2018 – The Idaho House passed SB 1243, 55-11. The bill now awaits either the Governor’s signature or veto.

 

March 20, 2018 – Governor C.L. Otter signed SB 1243. The bill will take effect July 1, 2018.

 

Abortion Reporting:

March 1, 2018 – The Idaho House passed HB 638, 56-13. The bill would mandate that complications to abortions be reported by any hospital or medical facility that is treating a woman because of an abortion-related complication. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 12, 2018 – The Senate State Affairs Committee passed HB 638. The bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 22, 2018 – Governor C.L. Otter has signed HB 638. The bill will take effect July 1.

 

IL

Forced Speech/Conscience Rights:

January 4, 2018 - The Thomas More Society has filed a Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint with Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. The complaint details how an Illinois law forces doctors and pregnancy centers to make abortion referrals even if they have religious or moral objections to the procedure.

 

IN

Abortion Injury Reporting:

January 25, 2018 –SB 340 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 6-1. 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. It now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

 

March 1, 2018 – SB 340 passed the House, 67-26, and must go back to the Senate so that changes that were made in the House are voted upon.

 

March 7, 2018 – Senate concurred with the changes made in the House.  SB 340 now moves to Governor Eric Holcomb for either his signature or veto.

 

March 25, 2018 – Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 340 into law.

 

Unborn Victims of Violence:

February 27, 2018 – The House passed SB 203, 96-3, which would recognize the unborn child as a person with rights under the criminal code. This bill would make it a crime if someone were to injure or kill an unborn child during the commission of a felony.

              

March 6, 2018 – The Senate concurred with the House changes. Bill now moves to Governor Eric Holcomb for either his signature or veto.

 

March 25, 2018 – Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 203 into law.

 

IA

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

February 8, 2018 –Senate Study Bill 3143 has passed an Iowa Senate subcommittee, 2-1, and now will be considered by the full Senate Judiciary Committee. 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 up to five years in prison.

 

February 13, 2018 –The Senate Judiciary Committee approved, 8-5, SB 3143. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

February 28, 2018 – The Senate passed SB 3143. The bill now moves to the Iowa House for consideration.

 

March 15, 2018 – The House Human Resources Committee passed SB 359, 12-9. Originally, the bill was to prohibit the transfer or receipt of fetal body parts. The bill was amended in Committee to include a prohibition of abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. The bill will now head to the House Floor for a vote. If it passes the House, it will move back to the Senate in order for the changes to be agreed upon.

 

March 20, 2018 – The House Human Resources Committee took public testimony on SB 359, even though the bill had been voted upon. The bill is still moving to the House Floor for consideration.

 

Gestational Agreements

February 16, 2018 – The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that surrogacy contracts are enforceable in the state.

 

Informed Consent:

February 14, 2018 – The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the state’s informed consent law. The law mandates a 72-hour waiting period along with an ultrasound.

 

KS

State Constitutional Protections:

February 17, 2018 – Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer announced that he is backing a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution that would recognize that there is no so-called right to abort an unborn child. The reason for this initiative is because of a recent state court ruling that found the state dismemberment abortion ban to be unconstitutional.

 

Prohibition of Public Funding:

February 21, 2018 – The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Kansas’ prohibition of Medicaid funds to be given to Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry operations was unconstitutional. Governor Jeff Colyer has indicated he may continue with legal action.

 

 

KY

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

March 7, 2018 – The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee passed HB 454, which would prohibit the dismemberment of a living unborn child. The measure now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

March 12, 2018 – The Kentucky House passed HB 454, 71-11. The bill now moves to the Kentucky Senate for consideration.

 

March 22, 2018 – The Kentucky Senate passed HB 454 on Second Reading, 31-5.

 

March 27, 2018 – HB 454 passed Third Reading, 75-13. The bill will now move to Governor Matt Bevin for his signature or veto. He has indicated that he is likely to sign the bill.

 

MD

Forced Speech:

January 5, 2018 –The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declared a Baltimore law that mandated that crisis pregnancy centers within the city post a sign stating that they do not do abortions or abortion referrals unconstitutional. The law was struck down in a 3-0 vote.

 

MN

Ultrasound Bill:

March 28, 2018 – The Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee passed SF 2849. The bill would mandate that women receive an ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.

 

MS

15 Week Gestational Abortion Ban:

January 30, 2018 –The Mississippi House Judiciary Committee passed HB 1510 which would amend the current law which prohibits abortion at the 20-week gestational mark to 15 weeks. HB 1510 does have a life of the mother exception, physical health of the mother exception, and an exception for cases of fatal fetal anomalies. The bill now moves to the full house for a vote.

 

February 2, 2018 –The House passed HB 1510, 80-31. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 27, 2018 – The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee passed HB 1510. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 6, 2018 – The Senate passed HB 1510 with some minor changes. House must concur with those changes in order for the bill to move to Governor Phil Bryant’s desk. The Governor has indicated he will sign the bill.

 

March 19, 2018 – Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 1510. The bill is expected to take effect immediately. The abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, immediately filed in Federal District Court, to block enforcement of the law. The law has been blocked pending the outcome of the trial.

 

MO

Parental Involvement:

February 7, 2018 – The Missouri House gave initial approval to HB 1383 to amend the currently existing state law requiring parental consent. If enacted, the bill would require the other parent to provide written notice to the other custodial parent or legal guardian. The bill is awaiting final approval from the House.

 

February 27, 2018 – The Missouri House gave final approval to HB 1383. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

20 Weeks Gestation Abortion Ban:

February 16, 2018 – The Missouri House Children and Family Committee has passed HB 1266. The bill would prohibit abortion at 20 weeks gestation. Currently, Missouri law prohibits abortion at the 24-week gestational mark. The bill will now move to the House floor for consideration.

 

March 26, 2018 –The Missouri House passed HB 1266 with an initial vote. The bill must be voted upon again in order to pass the House.

 

MT  

Nurses Performing Abortions:

January 30, 2018 –A lawsuit challenging the state constitutionality of current Montana law that mandates only physician and physician assistants can perform an abortion was filed in state district court. The ACLU is challenging the law based 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:

January 9, 2018 – Governor Pete Ricketts announced that he plans to cut taxpayer funds to abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood. He plans to propose a budget that would revise how Title X funds are distributed and would disqualify those organizations that provide abortions.

 

March 28, 2018 – The Nebraska Senate passed the budget bill on Second Reading which would include a measure to cut taxpayer funds to abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood. The bill will need to pass Third Reading in order to pass the Senate.

 

NJ

Assisted Suicide:

March 12, 2018 – The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee passed, 5-2, A 1504 which would allow physicians to assist in the suicide of a terminally ill patient. The bill now moves to the Assembly Floor for consideration.

 

Gestational Agreements:

February 12, 2018 –The New Jersey Assembly Women and Children Committee passed, A 1704, out of committee. 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 will now be considered for a vote by the full Assembly.

 

March 15, 2018 – The New Jersey Senate Budget Appropriations Committee passed S 482, 10-2. The bill is virtually identical to A 1704. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 28, 2018 – The New Jersey Senate passed S 482. The bill now moves to the Assembly for consideration.

 

Tax-Funded Abortions:

February 1, 2018 –The New Jersey Senate passed a measure to send $7.5 million dollars to fund abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood. This measure would reverse years of former Governor Chris Christie’s efforts to redirect those funds to organizations that do not do abortions. The legislation now moves to the New Jersey Assembly. Governor Phil Murphy has promised to sign it if the legislation passes.

 

February 15, 2018 – The New Jersey Assembly has passed the measure to send $7.5 million dollars to fund abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood. The measure now goes to Governor Phil Murphy who has promised to sign it.

 

February 21, 2018 – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the measure that would allow for $7.5 million dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations.

 

OH

Abortion Ban on Unborn Children with Downs Syndrome:

February 15, 2018 – The ACLU has filed a motion on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio challenging the constitutionality of the law that is slated to go into effect March 23. Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law last December.

 

March 14, 2018 – US District Court Judge Timothy Black blocked Ohio from allowing the law to go into effect pending the outcome of the trial.

 

Humane Disposition of Fetal Remains:

January 10, 2018 –The Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee passed the Unborn Child Dignity (SB 28) Act 7-3. This legislation requires that the remains of an unborn child killed through abortion must be humanely buried or cremated. The legislation now heads to the full Ohio Senate for a vote.

 

January 17, 2018 –The full Ohio Senate passed the Unborn Child Dignity Act (SB 28), 24-9. The measure now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives.

 

February 28, 2018 – The House Health Committee passed SB 28. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

 

OR

Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration:

February 16, 2018 – The House passed, 35-25, HB 4135, which allows physicians to remove or withhold artificial nutrition and hydration to those patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 27, 2018 – The Senate passed HB 4135. The bill now moves to Governor’s desk.

 

SC

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

February 15, 2018 – A South Carolina Senate subcommittee approved H3548, which prohibit the dismemberment of a living unborn child. The bill now goes to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee for consideration.

 

Personhood Bill:

February 20, 2018 – the Senate Judiciary Committee passed, 12-9, S 217. The bill would recognize that a person begins at fertilization and extend all constitutional protections to unborn children.  The bill moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

SD

Informed Consent:

February 2, 2018 –SB 110 passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee 6-2. The bill establishes findings that the abortion industry used biased procedures when informing women about the abortion procedure. Furthermore, the bill would also provide provisions regarding mandatory third-party pre-abortion counseling. SB 110 moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

February 6, 2018 –SB 110 passed out of the Senate on 27-8 vote. The bill now moves to the House chamber for consideration.

 

February 26, 2018 – SB 110 passed the House by a 56-9 vote. The bill now moves to Governor Dennis Daugaard. He has indicated support of the bill.

 

March 7, 2018 – SB 110 was signed into law by Governor Daugaard.

 

TN

Prohibition of Public Funds for Abortion:

February 20, 2018 – The House Health Committee passed HB 2262. This bill would prohibit public funds from being used for abortions.

 

February 28, 2018 – The Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed SB 2494. This bill would prohibit state funds from going to organizations that perform abortions. The bill will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 12, 2018 – The House passed HB 2251, 71-17. This bill will mandate that the state Medicaid department submit a waiver to the federal government asking not to be forced to use public funds for abortion.

 

March 13, 2018 – The House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee passed HB 2262. The bill will be scheduled by the House Calendars Committee for House Floor vote.

 

March 22, 2018 – The Tennessee House passed SB 2494, 74-15-1. The bill now moves to Governor Haslam for either his signature or veto.

 

State Constitutional Protections:

January 9, 2018 –The US Sixth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Tennessee’s “Amendment 1”  to the state constitution which stipulates “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” The passage of the amendment was to ensure that the state of Tennessee could pass measures to limit the harm of abortion.

 

February 28, 2018-TheUS Sixth Court of Appeals issued a one-page judgment refusing to rehear arguments on Amendment 1. This leaves their previous judgment standing allowing Tennessee to enact pro-life.

 

Ultrasound Bill:

February 12, 2018 –The Tennessee House approved HB 108, 74-20. The bill was originally a Fetal Heartbeat bill but was amended to become a bill that would mandate that women receive an ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.

 

TX

Humane Disposition of Fetal Remains:

January 29, 2018 - US District Court Judge David Ezra issues a preliminary injunction against the enactment of Texas’ new law which would mandate that the remains of those unborn children killed by abortion must be humanely disposed of by burial or cremation.

 

UT

Abortion Ban on Unborn Children with Downs Syndrome:

January 26, 2018 – The Utah House Judiciary Committee passed legislation, HB 205, that prohibits 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.

 

February 6, 2018 – The Utah House passed HB 205. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 26, 2018 – The Senate Committee passed HB 205. The legislation will now move to the full Senate for consideration

 

Assisted Suicide Ban:

February 6, 2018 –HB 86 passed the Utah House, 51-18. The bill would add assisted suicide to the state’s manslaughter code. The bill now moves to the Senate chamber for consideration.

 

WA

Forced Abortion Insurance Coverage:

January 31, 2018 –The Washington Senate passed SB 6219 which would mandate that all insurance policies that cover maternity care would also have to cover abortion. Public policy experts also say the bill will have the effect of forcing taxpayers to fund abortion on demand. The measure will now move to the Washington House for consideration.

 

February 12, 2018 – The Washington Senate passed, 26-22, SB 6219. The measure now moves to the House for consideration.

 

March 3, 2018 – The Washington Senate concurred with the changes that were made in the House to SB 6219. The bill now moves to Governor Jay Inslee for either a signature or veto.

 

March 22, 2018 – Governor Jay Inslee has signed SB 6219.

 

Surrogacy Contracts:

March 6, 2018 – Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 6037, The Uniform Parentage Act, which would allow for paid surrogacy to take place in Washington State.

 

WV

Amendment to State Constitution:

February 5, 2018 –The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed a resolution, SJR 12, which would amend the state constitution saying there is no ‘right’ to abortion. The resolution is a response to a 1993 West Virginia Supreme Court decision that recognized a so-called ‘right’ to abortion thereby forcing taxpayers to fund the procedure.

 

February 8, 2018 –The West Virginia Senate gave initial approval to SJR 12

 

February 9, 2018 –The West Virginia Senate gave final approval, 25-9, on SJR 12. It now moves to the House for consideration.

 

February 28, 2018 – The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed  SJR 12. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

March 5, 2018- The West Virginia House approved SJR 12, 72-25. The resolution will now be on the November ballot. If West Virginians approve the measure the following language will be added to the state’s constitution, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

 

Prohibition of Public Funds for Abortion:

February 5, 2018 –West Virginia House Bill 4012 is being considered in the Judiciary Committee. The bill would ban the use of taxpayers’ funds to be used for abortion except to preserve the life of the mother.

 

 

WI

Prohibition of Public Funds for Abortion:

February 20, 2018 – The Senate passed AB 128. The bill would provide that public workers would not be able to use their government-provided health insurance to pay for abortion. The measure passed the Assembly last year.