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Introduced Version House Bill 2555 History

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hb2555 intr
H. B. 2555


(By Delegates Hatfield, Brown and Amores)
[Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-2J-1 , §16-2J-2 and §16-2J-3 , all relating to "Crisis Pregnancy Organizations"; providing definitions; providing limitations and requirements relative to when crisis pregnancy organizations may render services to women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated
§16-2J-1 , §16-2J-2 and §16-2J-3 , all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2J. WOMEN'S RIGHT TO KNOW.
§16-2J-1. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) "Crisis pregnancy organization" means a private, not-or-profit agency or organization that provides services and counseling to women who have unplanned or unwanted pregnancies; and
(b) "Medically accurate" means verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and published in peer-review journals, where appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with relevant expertise in the field, such as the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
§16-2J-2. Restrictions on providing services.

Services may not be provided to a pregnant woman by any person who is employed by, a volunteer at, or in any manner affiliated with, a crisis pregnancy organization except with the voluntary and informed consent of the pregnant woman. Consent to the provision of services from a crisis pregnancy organization is voluntary and informed only if all of the following conditions are met, before any services are provided:
(a) The crisis pregnancy organization provides the pregnant woman with the following information, orally and in writing:
(1) A medically accurate and objective explanation of the full range of options available to her regarding her pregnancy, including abortion, parenting and adoption;
(2) Medically accurate and objective information on the range of medical risks associated with abortion, pregnancy and childbirth; and
(3) That she has the right to obtain printed materials listing medical clinics and hospitals that provide abortion services.
(b) If the pregnant woman so requests, the crisis pregnancy organization, shall provide her with geographically indexed, printed materials that contain a comprehensive list of the medical clinics and hospitals that provide abortion services.
(c) The pregnant woman certifies in writing that the information described in subsection (a) of this section has been provided to her and that she has been informed of her right to review the printed materials described in subsection (b) of this section.
(d) The crisis pregnancy organization receives a copy of the certification required in subsection (c) of this section.
(e) The following notice is posted prominently at the crisis pregnancy organization's premises: "None of our services are provided by licensed medical professionals. We will provide information on how to obtain an abortion, abortion services or birth control information."
(f) The crisis pregnancy organization distributes a prenatal care and parenting pamphlet based on medically accurate information provided by the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association of Pediatricians.

§16-2J-3. Right of action.

A pregnant woman who receives services from a person employed by, a volunteer at, or in any manner affiliated with, a crisis pregnancy organization, who knowingly provided those services in violation of this article may maintain an action against the crisis pregnancy organization for actual and punitive damages.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to address certain perimeters regarding when private organizations may counsel pregnant women concerning the prospect of abortion. The bill defines the terms
"Crisis Pregnancy Organizations" and "medically accurate". It provides limitations and requirements relative to when crisis pregnancy organizations may render services to women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Finally, it provides a cause of action for women who are knowingly provided services in violation of the provisions of the article.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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