New York Fetal Heartbeat Ban (A 8947)
This law was last updated on Nov 18, 2015
A 8947 establishes the requirement of testing for a fetal heartbeat prior to the performance of an abortion and establishes standards for informed consent.
Any person who intends to perform or induce an abortion would be required to first determine whether there is a detectable fetal heartbeat. They would then be required to record in the woman’s medical record the estimated gestational age of the fetus, the method used to test for the fetal heartbeat, the date and time of the test, and the results of the test.
Informed Consent Requirements
Under A 8947, a physicians would be required to meet with the pregnant woman in person at least 24 hours prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion to establish informed consent. At this meeting, the physician must inform the woman all of the following:
- the nature and purpose of the particular abortion procedure and any associated medical risks;
- the probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus; and
- the medical risks associated with the pregnant woman carrying the pregnancy to term.
At least 24 hours prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion the physician or the physician’s agent must also do the following:
- inform the pregnant woman of the name of the physician who is scheduled to perform or induce the abortion;
- give the pregnant woman copies of certain materials regarding abortion
- inform the woman that the materials are published by the state and that they describe the embryo or fetus and list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion.
Prior to the performance of an abortion the pregnant woman would be required to sign a form consenting to the abortion and certifying that she received the materials regarding abortion, all her questions have been answered and she consents to the procedure.
If a fetal heartbeat is detected prior to the procedure, the physician must do the following before performing or inducing an abortion:
- inform the pregnant woman in writing that the “unborn human individual” the pregnant woman is carrying has a fetal heartbeat;
- inform the pregnant woman of the statistical probability of bringing the “unborn human individual” possessing a detectable fetal heartbeat to term based on the gestational age; and
- the pregnant woman must sign a form acknowledging that she has received all the information.
Any of the above would not be required if the physician believes a medical emergency exists or the abortion needs to be performed to save the life of the pregnant woman.
Criminalization of Abortion
In the event that testing detects a fetal heartbeat, no person shall knowingly and purposefully perform an abortion on the pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the unborn human individual. Whoever violates this would be guilty of abortion in the 3rd degree.
This would not apply to a physician who performs a medical procedure to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.
A physician who performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman would be required to submit a report to the health department. By September 30th of each year, the department would then issue a public report that provides statistics for the previous calendar year compiled from all the reports collected. Physicians would be required to submit their reports within 15 days of the pregnant woman being discharged.
A 8947 also establishes the joint legislative committee on adoption promotion and support; provides for certain remedies in the event that the United States Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade; and authorizes the commissioner of the department of public health to promulgate certain rules and regulations.