Federal Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act (S 139)
This law was last updated on Jan 12, 2015
S 139 would have required a physician who performs an abortion to: (1) have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and (2) notify the patient of the location of the hospital where the patient can receive follow-up care by the physician if complications arise. The bill would have exempted from these requirements a physician who performs an abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
S 139 would have also required each abortion clinic that receives federal funds or assistance to be licensed by the state and be in compliance with the requirements for ambulatory surgery centers under title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act, except for the requirement of a certificate of public need. The bill would have permitted state boards of health to waive the application of certain structural requirements for licensing purposes in order to comply with this Act.
The bill defines “abortion clinic” to mean a facility other than a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center, in which 25 or more first trimester abortions are performed during any 12-month period.
Sen. Vitter has introduced this bill in every congressional session since 2007. (Source.)