New York Family Protection Act (A 5637)
This law was last updated on Jul 21, 2017
A 5637 would require physicians to obtain informed consent from an individuals seeking an abortion, as well as parental consent before a minor can seek an abortion.
Under A 5637, a physician may not perform an abortion upon an individual under eighteen years of age without the written consent of a parent, guardian, or conservator. Written parental consent would not be required if:
- The abortion is necessary to prevent the minor’s death and there is insufficient time to obtain the required consent;
- The parent/guardian/conservator certifies in writing that he/she has consented; or
- The minor obtains an order issued by a judge of the family court waiving the required consent.
The bill prohibits parents, guardians, etc. from coercing any individual to undergo an abortion.
A 5637 would require physicians to obtain written informed consent from a pregnant individual at least 24 hours before performing or inducing an abortion, except in cases of medical emergency.
The physician would need to orally inform the pregnant individual:
- The name of the physician performing the abortion;
- The nature of the proposed abortion and the associated risks;
- The probable gestational age of the unborn child, and if it has reached 22 weeks:
- that it may be able to survive outside of the womb;
- the pregnant individual may request the physician to use the form of treatment that is most likely to preserve the life of the fetus; and
- if born alive, the physician has the legal obligation to take all reasonable steps necessary to maintain the life and health of the child.
- The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus;
- The medical risks associated with carrying the child to term;
- The medical and psychological risks associated with abortion; and
- Any need for anti-RH Immune Globulin Therapy, if the pregnant individual is RH negative, the likely consequences of refusing such therapy and the cost of the therapy.
Additionally, the physician would be required to orally inform the pregnant individual that:
- Medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;
- The father of the fetus is liable to assist in the support of the child;
- They have the right to review printed materials that describe the fetus and list agencies which offer alternatives to abortion.
- The state encourages the pregnant individual to view an ultrasound image before they decide to have an abortion; and
- They are free to withhold or withdraw their consent to the abortion at any time before or during an abortion without affecting their right to future care or treatment without the loss of any state or federally-funded benefits to which they might otherwise be entitled.
The department of health would be required to publish, in English and Spanish, the following printed materials:
- Geographically indexed materials designed to inform the woman of public and private agencies and services available to assist an individual through pregnancy and after, as well as adoption agencies; and
- Materials that inform the pregnant individual of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at two-week gestational increments from fertilization to full term, including pictures or drawings, and any relevant information on the possibility of survival.
Any person who violates this law would be guilty of a felony and may face civil action.
The bill would allow any person upon whom an abortion has been performed without complying with this provision, the father of the fetus who was the subject of such an abortion, or the grandparent of such a fetus to maintain an action against the person who performed the abortion in knowing or reckless violation of this provision for actual and punitive damages.
A 5637 also describes the process in obtaining a judicial order waiving parental consent.