North Dakota Abortion Law Amendments (HB 1297)
This law was last updated on Sep 12, 2016
HB 1927 is an omnibus bill that includes numerous amendments to current abortion law in North Dakota.
HB 1927 expands the definition of “abortion” to include using or prescribing any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to terminate a pregnancy.
The bill removes the term “fetus” from laws regarding abortion and replaces the term with “unborn child.”
HB 1927 requires the state department of health to publish materials that include, but are not limited to, the following information:
- It is unlawful for any individual to coerce a woman to undergo an abortion;
- If a minor is denied financial support by the minor’s parent, guardian, or custodian due to the minor’s refusal to have an abortion performed, the minor is deemed to be emancipated for the purposes of eligibility for public assistance benefits;
- Any physician who performs an abortion upon a woman without her informed consent may be liable to her for damages in a civil action;
- The law permits adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;
- Descriptions of the legal obligations of a child’s father, including child support payments and health insurance;
- Information about brain and heart function, the presence of external members and internal organs during the applicable states of development, and any relevant information on the possibility of the “unborn child’s” survival; and
- Materials that contain objective information describing the various surgical and drug- induced methods of abortion as well as the immediate and long-term medical risks commonly associated with each abortion method.
The materials must include the following statement:
“There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you to carry your child to term and to assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place your child for adoption. The state of North Dakota strongly urges you to contact one or more of these agencies before making a final decision about abortion. The law requires that your physician or your physician’s agent give you the opportunity to call agencies like these before you undergo an abortion.”
The bill makes it unlawful to “knowingly give, sell, dispense, administer, otherwise provide, or prescribe any abortion-inducing drug to a pregnant woman for the purpose of inducing an abortion in that pregnant woman, or enabling another person to induce an abortion in a pregnant woman, unless the person who gives, sells, dispenses, administers, or otherwise provides or prescribes the abortion-inducing drug is a physician, and the provision or prescription of the abortion-inducing drug satisfies the protocol tested and authorized by the federal food and drug administration and as outlined in the label for the abortion-inducing drug.”
The bill effectively bans off-label use of abortion-inducting medications.
Any pregnant woman who is given an abortion-inducing drug must be provided with a copy of the drug’s label.
Any physician who provides an abortion-inducing drug must enter a signed contract with another physician who agrees to handle emergencies associated with the use or ingestion of the abortion-inducing drug. The physician must produce the signed contract on demand by the patient, the department of health, or a criminal justice agency.
Any pregnant woman receiving the drug must also be provided the name and telephone number of the physician who will be handling emergencies and the hospital at which any emergencies will be handled.
The physician who contracts to handle emergencies must have active admitting privileges and gynecological and surgical privileges at the hospital designated to handle any emergencies associated with the use or ingestion of the abortion-inducing drug.
The bill requires any pregnant woman taking the drug, to do so in the same room and in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed it.
The bill requires physicians to complete an individual abortion compliance report and an individual abortion data report for each abortion performed upon a woman. All compliance reports must be signed by the attending physician within twenty-four hours and submitted to the state department of health within ten business days from the date of the abortion.
If a physician provides an abortion-inducing drug to another for the purpose of inducing an abortion and the physician knows that the individual experiences during or after the use an adverse event, the physician shall provide a written report of the adverse event within thirty days of the event to the state department of health and the federal food and drug administration via the medwatch reporting system.
The bill prohibits the state from producing, distributing, publishing, disseminating, endorsing, or approving materials of any type that, between normal childbirth and abortion, do not give preference, encouragement, and support to normal childbirth. The state may not fund, endorse, or support any program that, between normal childbirth and abortion, does not give preference, encouragement, and support to normal childbirth.
Participation in Abortion – Not Mandatory
No individual would be required to participate in the performance of an abortion, including medication abortion, if they object to such an abortion.