Texas Bill Regarding Voluntary & Informed Consent of Abortion (HB 3246)
This law was last updated on May 22, 2017
HB 3246 would amend voluntary and informed consent requirements to require additional information be provided to a pregnant patient seeking abortion.
The bill would require the following additional information related to public and private agencies to be provided to a pregnant patient seeking an abortion:
- pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes;
- a comprehensive list of assistance programs for victims of family violence and human trafficking;
- the contact information of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center;
- a list of persons licensed to practice in Texas, as social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, and psychologists who have volunteered to assist individuals being coerced or forced to have or seek an abortion or volunteered to provide services for human trafficking rescue and restoration; and
- nonprofit organizations that provide free legal aid to women being coerced or forced to have or seek an abortion or to victims of human trafficking.
The bill would require a physician to do the following prior to the performance of an abortion:
- verbally inform the patient that the physician cannot perform the abortion unless the patient provides their voluntary and informed consent; and
- provide the patient with the coerced abortion form.
The physician would not be able to perform the abortion until the patient certifies that they have received such information.
The department would be required to develop a coerced abortion form to be completed by each patient on whom an abortion is performed.
If a physician is made aware, whether by the pregnant patient or otherwise, that the patient is a victim of human trafficking, the physician would be required to:
- report the offense to local law enforcement; and
- provide the patient with access to a telephone in a private room.
If a physician or physician’s agent has reasonable suspicion that a patient is a victim of human trafficking, the physician or physician’s agent must immediately report the suspected trafficking and the name of the individual suspected of trafficking to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
Withdrawal of Consent
The bill provides for a patient to withdrawal consent at any time prior to a procedure.
The bill would require any office or facility which provides abortions to post the following sign:
NOTICE: Human trafficking, including sex trafficking, is a violation of the law, and the state can help victims of trafficking. You have the right to a telephone in a private room to contact any local law enforcement agency to receive protection from any actual or threatened physical abuse or violence. Texas law prohibits a physician from performing an abortion, including inducing, prescribing for, or otherwise providing the means for an abortion, unless you give your voluntary and informed consent without coercion or force. Texas law also prohibits a physician from performing an abortion against your will.