New Mexico Parental Notification of Abortion Act (HB 391)
This law was last updated on Feb 19, 2015
HB 391 would have required physicians to provide notice of a planned abortion procedure of a non-emancipated 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 woman’s life and there is insufficient time to provide the required notice.
HB 391 would have also required 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 391 allows 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 matured 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:
- Number of females who requested an abortion
- Number of actual abortions performed
- Number of times the physician provided parental notice
- Number of times the parental notice was waived by judicial order or any other exception
- Number of times an abortion was performed in which the fetus was viable and the reason for the abortion cited by the physician was 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; and have their physician’s license suspended or revoked for no less than one year.
HB 391 also amended previous legislation to now state that any medical facility where an abortion may be performed, any person under the direction of a physician, any pharmacist or person under the direction of a pharmacist, who objects to the abortion on “personal conviction” grounds shall not be required to participate in medical procedures, including dispensing of medication that will result in termination of a pregnancy. Current legislation allows for exceptions based on moral or religious grounds.
Tabled by committee.