Alabama Ultrasound Access Act (HB 131)
This law was last updated on Jul 3, 2017
HB 131 would require an abortion provider to privately provide a pregnant patient seeking an abortion with additional written and oral information including a sonogram portraying the entire body of the “unborn child” and specific information regarding that child as disclosed by the sonogram, as well information on the abortion provider’s income.
Under this law, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed only if the following conditions are met:
- At least 48 hours before the abortion, the physician who is to perform the abortion has informed the patient, orally and in writing, of all of the following:
- The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
- 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;
- 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, and infertility;
- 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;
- 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 of the liability of the father for child support and other expenses;
- A conflict of interest disclaimer; and
- Any other information that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision whether to have an abortion.
Conflict of Interest Disclaimer
The conflict of interest disclaimer would need to include the abortion provider’s gross income from the previous fiscal year, as well as the percentage of that income that was obtained from the performance of abortions together with a statement concerning the monetary loss to the abortion provider which would result from the patient’s decision to carry the pregnancy to term.
At least 48 hours prior to the abortion, the provider must provide the patient in writing and, where applicable, orally:
- A current sonogram of the “unborn child,” including all of the following:
- Verbal description of all relevant features with audible heartbeat if present;
- Upon request, a photograph or print of the sonogram;
- Written and verbal description stating whether the patient has a viable pregnancy, the location of the fetal sac, and the presence or absence of a heartbeat. If not viable, the provider should advise the patient they will miscarry with no further intervention unless the provider has evidence to the contrary; and
- A list of all known sonogram providers within a 10-50 mile radius (for a second opinion).
- The probable gestational age of the “unborn child,” including color photographs of the fetal development in four-week increments;
- A description of the development of the “child’s” nerve endings and the “child’s” ability to feel pain at each stage of development;
- Relevant information on the potential survival of the “child” at their current stage of development;
- A statement that the patient is free to withdraw their consent to the abortion; and
- Any other information that may be relevant.
All the above information would be required to be provided in a private room. The pregnant patient may choose to not listen to the sounds produced or view the images provided.
Anyone who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates these provisions would be imprisoned for up to 10 years and/or fined up to $1,000,000.
If passed, the law would take effect immediately.
Based on model legislation drafted by the National Pro-Life Alliance (NPLA).
Companion bill to SB 272.
Similar to HB 183, which failed to pass in 2016.
- National Pro-Life Alliance — Drafted Model Law