New Mexico Parental Notification of Abortion Act (HB 56)
This law was last updated on Sep 6, 2018
HB 56 would would require physicians to provide notice of a planned abortion procedure of a minor to one parent or guardian at least 48 hours prior to the procedure.
The notice should be delivered in a sealed envelope addressed to the parent or guardian and delivered by courier or similar service. If two delivery attempts have been unanswered, the notification requirement may be waived. A parent or guardian may also sign an acknowledgement at the facility where the abortion is performed. Physicians would be required to keep records of all notifications.
A physician may waive the notification requirement if they certify that the abortion is necessary to save the patient’s life and there is insufficient time to provide the required notice.
HB 56 would also require the New Mexico medical board to promulgate a series of questions and consultation procedures for medical personnel working at facilities and clinics where abortions are performed to determine is a minor seeking an abortion has a pregnancy as a result of rape, sexual abuse or incest. Medical staff, intake employees and physicians at each facility would be required to receive no less than eight hours of training per year concerning questioning and consultation procedures.
If it is believed that the minor’s pregnancy is the result of rape, sexual abuse or incest, the Children, Youth and Families Department must be notified. If, after an investigation, the department determines the pregnancy is a result of rape, sexual abuse or incest, the abortion facility may be allowed to perform the abortion without the notice requirement.
HB 56 would allow the minor to file a petition in any district court in order to waive the notification requirement. The petition may be granted if the court finds the minor to be sufficiently mature and well enough informed or, if notification is not in the best interest of the minor.
The Vital Records and Health Statistics Bureau would be required to establish annual reporting requirements for physicians who perform abortions. Such records would be required to be made available by May 1st of each year. Each physician must report the following data:
- The number of pregnant people who requested the physician to perform an abortion in the prior calendar year;
- The number of actual abortions performed by the physician;
- The number of times the physician provided notice as required by the Parental Notification Act;
- The number of times that notice was waived by judicial order or any other exception and the manner in which the physician received proof of the waiver; and
- The number of times an abortion was performed in which the fetus was viable and the reason for the abortion was cited as sexual abuse, rape, or incest.
Any physician that is found to have knowingly and willfully failed to comply with the Act would be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 for each violation. Additionally, such a physician would have their medical license revoked or suspended for at least a year.
The bill would amend NM Stat § 30-5-2 which permits certain persons and institutions to be exempt from performing abortions due to religious objections.
The bill would allow “any medical facility” to refuse to admit a patient for the purpose of performing an abortion.
Current law states that such persons or facilities who object to justified medical terminations on moral or religious grounds shall not be required to participate in medical procedures that will result in the termination of pregnancy. The bill would remove the term “justified medical termination” and replace it with “abortion.”
The bill would include “the dispensing of medication” that would result in the termination of pregnancy. This amendment may result in health-care providers refusing to dispense birth control due to their personal beliefs.
The bill would repeal NM Stat § 30-5-3, which defines the offense of criminal abortion, a fourth degree felony.
Similar to HB 391, which failed to pass in 2015.