Florida legislature sends major abortion bill to the Governor’s desk

The Florida legislature just sent a major abortion bill to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. (Track this bill here. Read this bill here)

The legislation (CS/CS/HB 1411) makes several changes to current abortion regulations. It prohibits the use of public funds for abortions, except for cases of rape, incest, the life of the pregnant woman, or if there is a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

“A state agency, a local governmental entity, or a managed care plan providing services under part IV of chapter 409 may not expend funds for the benefit of, pay funds to, or initiate or renew a contract with an organization that owns, operates, or is affiliated with one or more clinics that are licensed under this chapter and perform abortions unless one or more of the following applies:

All abortions performed by such clinics are:
1. On fetuses that are conceived through rape or incest; or
2. Are medically necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman or to avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman, other than a psychological condition…”

It includes additional reporting requirements.

“The director of any medical facility in which abortions are performed, including a physician’s office, any pregnancy is terminated shall submit a report each month to the agency. The report may be submitted electronically, may not include personal identifying information, and must include:

(a) …the number of abortions performed.
(b) The reasons such abortions were performed.
(c) For each abortion, the period of gestation at the time the abortion was performed.
(d) The number of infants born alive or alive immediately after an attempted abortion.
(e) Beginning no later than January 1, 2017, information consistent with the United States Standard Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency shall keep such reports in a central location for the purpose of compiling and analyzing statistical data and shall submit data reported pursuant to paragraph (1)(e) to the Division of Reproductive Health within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as requested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

It creates additional clinic inspection requirements.

“When performing a license inspection of a clinic, the agency shall inspect at least 50 percent of patient records generated since the clinic’s last license inspection…Annual inspections by the agency of all clinics licensed under this chapter to ensure that such clinics are in compliance with this chapter and agency rule…The prompt investigation of credible allegations of abortions being performed at a clinic that is not licensed to perform such procedures.”

The legislation establishes a requirement for admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, or a patient transfer agreement.

“For clinics that perform abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy only, these rules…must require: (a) Clinics to have a written patient transfer agreement with a hospital within reasonable proximity to the clinic which includes the transfer of the patient’s medical records held by the clinic and the treating physician to the licensed hospital; or (b)Physicians who perform abortions at the clinic to have admitting privileges at a hospital within reasonable proximity to the clinic.”

The legislation requires abortion referral or counseling agencies to register with the Agency for Health Care Administration.

“An abortion referral or counseling agency, as defined in subsection (1), shall register with the Agency for Health Care Administration. To register or renew a registration an applicant must pay an initial or renewal registration fee established by rule, which must not exceed the costs incurred by the agency in administering this section. Registrants must include in any advertising materials the registration number issued by the agency and must renew their registration biennially.

(4) The following are exempt from the requirement to register pursuant to subsection (3):
(a) Facilities licensed pursuant to this chapter, chapter 395, chapter 400, or chapter 408;
(b) Facilities that are exempt from licensure as a clinic under s. 400.9905(4) and that refer five or fewer patients for abortions per month; and
(c) Health care practitioners, as defined in s. 456.001, 291 who, in the course of their practice outside of a facility licensed pursuant to this chapter, chapter 395, chapter 400, or chapter 408, refer five or fewer patients for abortions each month.”

The legislation also prohibits the purchase, sale, or transfer of human embryos or fetal remains, or the advertising for such.

“A person may not advertise or offer to purchase, sell, donate, or transfer, or purchase, sell, donate, or transfer, fetal remains obtained from an abortion, as defined in s. 390.011. This subsection does not prohibit the transportation or transfer of fetal remains for disposal pursuant to s. 381.0098 or rules adopted thereunder…A person who violates this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable 323 as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”

Bill summary information:

CS/CS/HB 1411: Termination of Pregnancies

GENERAL BILL by Health and Human Services Committee ; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee ; Burton ; (CO-INTRODUCERS) Adkins ; Ahern ; Albritton ; Baxley ; Boyd ; Burgess ; Combee ; Cortes, B. ; Costello ; Drake ; Eagle ; Fant ; Gaetz ; Gonzalez ; Hill ; La Rosa ; Magar ; Mayfield ; McBurney ; Metz ; Moraitis ; Plakon ; Porter ; Raburn ; Renner ; Rodrigues, R. ; Rooney ; Santiago ; Smith ; Spano ; Sullivan ; Van Zant

Termination of Pregnancies; Revising the requirements for disposal of fetal remains; revising the criminal punishment for failure to properly dispose of fetal remains; requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration to develop and enforce rules relating to license inspections and investigations of certain clinics; requiring certain organizations that provide abortion referral services or abortion counseling services to register with the agency, pay a specified fee, and include certain information in advertisements, etc. APPROPRIATION: $245,164.00

Effective Date: 7/1/2016 Last Action: 3/11/2016 – Signed by Officers and presented to Governor Location: Presented to Governor

Track this bill here

Read this bill here