Massachusetts Protect Women from Coercion Act (H 3119)
This law was last updated on Apr 17, 2019
H 3119 would require information on coerced abortion to be posted at hospitals and abortion clinics, and be provided to each pregnant patient seeking an abortion.
The bill would require any private office, freestanding ambulatory surgical center, hospital, clinic or other facility in which abortions are performed to conspicuously post a sign in a location clearly visible to patients, which reads as follows:
Notice: It is against the law for anyone, regardless of his or her relationship to you to force you to have an abortion. By law, we cannot perform an abortion on you unless we have your freely given and voluntary consent. It is against the law to perform an abortion on you against your will. You have the right to contact any local or state law enforcement agency to receive protection from any actual or threatened physical abuse or violence.
The bill would require a facility in which abortions are performed that is a private office, freestanding ambulatory surgical center, or clinic to post the required sign in each patient waiting room and patient consultation room used by patients on whom abortions are performed.
A hospital or any other facility in which abortions are performed that is not a private office, freestanding ambulatory surgical center, or clinic would need to post the required sign in each patient admission area used by patients on whom abortions are performed.
Any facility that fails to post a required sign would be assessed a fine of $10,000. A separate violation would occur each day on which an abortion, other than an abortion necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant individual, facility while the required sign is not posted during any part of business hours when patients or prospective patients are present.
The bill would require the attending physician to also inform the pregnant individual verbally of the information in the notice. This information would need to be communicated to the pregnant individual in private and not in the presence of a boyfriend, husband, family member, friend or any other person who may have accompanied them to the facility where the abortion is to be performed.
The pregnant patient would be required to certify in writing, prior to the performance of the abortion, that they were informed by the attending physician of the required information.
An individual injured by the failure to post the required signage or someone acting on that individual’s behalf may bring a civil action to recover damages for emotional distress and other damages allowed by law.
An individual injured by the failure to inform a pregnant individual verbally of the required information or someone acting on that individual’s behalf may also bring a civil action to recover damages for emotional distress and other damages allowed by law.
Identical to H 2282.
- Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Inc. — Drafted Model Law