H. B. 2243
(By Delegate Azinger)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §16-2M-1, relating to
requiring abortions be performed in a hospital or only by a
physician with admitting privileges to a hospital; providing
an exception for a medical emergency; providing definitions;
requiring reporting requirements of abortion or reproductive
health centers; providing license suspension for failure to
report; and providing for professional disciplinary action,
injunctive relief, damages and civil and criminal penalties
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-2M-1, to read as
ARTICLE 2M. VENUES RESTRICTED FOR ABORTION PROCEDURE.
§16-2M-1. Abortions to be performed only in hospital or by
physician with admitting privileges; definitions;
_______________(a) For purposes of this article, the following terms have the
_______________(1) "Abortion" means the use or prescription of any instrument,
medicine, drug, or any other substance or device with the intent to
terminate the pregnancy of a woman known by the defendant to be
pregnant. Such use or prescription is not an abortion if done with
the intent to do any of the following:
_______________(A) Save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child;
_______________(B) Remove a dead unborn child; and
_______________(C) Remove an unborn child prematurely in order to preserve the
health of the mother and her unborn child.
_______________(2) "Abortion or reproductive health center" means an
institution licensed as such pursuant to the provisions of the law
of this state.
_______________(3) "Anesthesiologist" means a physician qualified by
appropriate medical standards to administer anesthesia.
_______________(4) "Certified registered nurse anesthetist" means a person
licensed as such pursuant to the provisions of the law of this
_______________(5) "Facility" means any place other than a hospital.
_______________(6) "Hospital" means an institution licensed as such pursuant to the law of this state.
_______________(7) "Hospital admitting privileges" means the privileges given
to a physician by a hospital allowing the physician to practice
medicine at that hospital or allowing the physician to admit
patients to that hospital.
_______________(8) "Medical emergency" means that condition which, on the
basis of the physician's good faith clinical judgment, complicates
the medical condition of a pregnant woman so as to necessitate the
immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or in which
a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and or reversible
impairment of a major bodily function.
_______________(9) "Physician" means any person licensed to practice medicine
in this state. The term includes medical doctors and doctors of
_______________(b) Except in the case of a medical emergency, any physician
performing an abortion in a facility other than a hospital, must
have admitting privileges at a hospital within the local service
area where the abortion is to be performed.
_______________(c) Except in the case of a medical emergency, any physician
performing an abortion in a facility other than a hospital, where
the procedure requires general anesthesia, shall perform the
abortion only if the anesthesia is administered by a licensed
anesthesiologist or a licensed certified registered nurse
_______________(d) Every abortion or reproductive health center shall report
to the Bureau for Public Health, the name of each physician and the
name of the hospital at which the physician has admitting
privileges, and the name of each anesthesiologist and certified
registered nurse anesthetist, providing services at the abortion or
reproductive health center. The report shall be made on or before
January 31 of each year and a supplemental report for any departing
or new physician, anesthesiologist, or certified registered nurse
anesthetist shall be made within thirty days of the departure or
beginning service. All reports shall be made on forms provided by
the Bureau for Public Health.
_______________(e) (1) Any person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
violates any provision of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor
and, shall be fined not more than $500 and confined in jail for not
more than thirty days.
_______________(2) No physician is guilty of violating this section if he or
she can demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he or
she reasonably believed to a medical certainty that providing the
abortion was a medical emergency. The determination and all
supporting reasons shall be documented in writing in the patient's
medical records by the physician.
_______________(3) Any abortion or reproductive health center that violates
this section shall, upon a determination by the Bureau for Public
Health, have its license suspended for not less than twelve months.
_______________(f) In addition to the remedies available under common law or
under the statutory law of this state, failure to comply with any
requirement of this section shall:
_______________(1) Provide a basis for a civil action for injunctive,
compensatory, and punitive damages. Any conviction under this
section shall be admissible in a civil court as prima facie evidence
of a failure to meet any requirement of this article. Any civil
action may be based on a claim that the article was a result of
simple negligence, gross negligence, wantonness, willfulness,
intention, or other legal standard of care.
_______________(2) Provide a basis for professional disciplinary action under
any applicable statutory or regulatory procedure for the suspension
or revocation of the license of any physician, nurse, or other
licensed or regulated person.
_______________(g) The provisions of this section are declared to be
severable, and if any provision, word, phrase, or clause of this
section or the application thereof to any person is held invalid,
the invalidity may not affect the validity of the remaining portions
of this section.
_______________(h) Nothing in this section may be construed as creating or
recognizing a right to abortion, nor shall it make lawful an
abortion that is currently unlawful.
_______________NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
require abortions be performed in a hospital or only by a physician with admitting
privileges to a hospital. The bill provides exceptions for medical
emergencies. The bill defines terms. The bill sets forth reporting
requirements of abortion or reproductive health centers. The bill
also provides for license suspension for failure to report and for
professional disciplinary action, injunctive relief, damages and
civil and criminal penalties for violations.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely