Missouri Ultrasound Informed Consent Act (HB 1613)
This law was last updated on Apr 22, 2014
HB 1613 would have prohibited an abortion from being performed or induced without the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the abortion was performed or induced. Except in the case of a medical emergency, consent to an abortion was voluntary and informed only if: (1) At least 72 hours before the abortion, the physician who was to perform the abortion had informed the woman orally and in writing of specified information; and (2) At least 72 hours prior to the abortion, the abortion provider had provided the woman in writing and, where applicable, orally certain specified information.
In particular, the physician was required to warn women of the possibility of increased risk of breast cancer even though such an increase in risk is not supported by medical research. In fact, a new study confirms that there is no causative link between abortion and breast cancer. The law also required a physician to warn women that abortion threatens future fertility even though that is also not supported by medical research.
The specific information that would have been required before consent would be considered “voluntary and informed”:
1) the name of the physician who would perform the abortion;
2) 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 was to be performed and the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of an unborn child at that age;
3) 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, infertility, and increased risk of breast cancer;
4) 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;
5) 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 on the liability of the father for child support and other expenses;
6) a conflict of interest disclaimer; and
7) any other medical or other information that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether to have an abortion;
Ultrasound Requirement/Waiting Period
The bill would have required that at least 72 hours prior to the abortion, the abortion provider must have provided the woman in writing and, where applicable, orally:
1) A current sonogram of the unborn child portraying the entire body of the unborn child, including a verbal description of all relevant features of the sonogram with audible heartbeat if present.
2) The probable gestational age of the unborn child, including provision of color photographs of fetal development within a four-week increment of the age of the unborn child and during each succeeding four-week increment during the pregnancy;
3) A description of the development of the child’s nerve endings and the child’s ability to feel pain at each stage of development.
The law would have allowed the pregnant women to not listen to the fetal heartbeat and to not view the ultrasound images.
A violation of this provision could have resulted in imprisonment for up to ten years and a fine of up to one million dollars.
After public hearing on April 8, 2014, voted “do pass” by the House Children and Families Committee .