2004 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Peranich, Broomfield, Coleman (29th), Cummings, Dedeaux, Evans, Franks, Fredericks, Gadd, Holland, Huddleston, Middleton, Miles, Moak, Montgomery, Reynolds, Stringer, Ward, Warren, West
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-41-33 AND 41-41-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW PHYSICIANS AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO REFUSE TO PERFORM ABORTIONS FOR REASONS OF CONSCIENCE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-41-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-41-33. (1) No abortion shall be performed or induced except with the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced. Except in the case of a medical emergency, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed if and only if:
(a) The woman is told the following by the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or by the referring physician, orally and in person, at least twenty-four (24) hours before the abortion:
(i) The name of the physician who will perform or induce the abortion;
(ii) The particular medical risks associated with the particular abortion procedure to be employed including, when medically accurate, the risks of infection, hemorrhage and breast cancer, and the danger to subsequent pregnancies and infertility;
(iii) The probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed or induced; and
(iv) The medical risks associated with carrying her child to term.
(b) The woman is informed, by the physician or his agent, orally and in person, at least twenty-four (24) hours before the abortion:
(i) That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care;
(ii) That the father is liable to assist in the support of her child, even in instances in which the father has offered to pay for the abortion;
(iii) That there are available services provided by public and private agencies which provide pregnancy prevention counseling and medical referrals for obtaining pregnancy prevention medications or devices; and
(iv) That she has the right to review the printed materials described in Section 41-41-35(1)(a), (b) and (c). The physician or his agent shall orally inform the woman that those materials have been provided by the State of Mississippi and that they describe the unborn child and list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion. If the woman chooses to view those materials, copies of them shall be furnished to her. The physician or his agent may disassociate himself or themselves from those materials, and may comment or refrain from comment on them as he chooses. The physician or his agent shall provide the woman with the printed materials described in Section 41-41-35(1)(d).
(c) The woman certifies in writing before the abortion that the information described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section has been furnished to her, and that she has been informed of her opportunity to review the information referred to in subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (b) of this section.
(d) Before the abortion is performed or induced, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion receives a copy of the written certification prescribed by this section.
(2) The State Department of Health shall enforce the provisions of Sections 41-41-31 through 41-41-39 at abortion facilities, as defined in Section 41-75-1.
(3) A physician or other health care provider may refuse to perform an abortion for reasons of conscience.
SECTION 2. Section 41-41-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-41-53. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, no person shall perform an abortion upon an unemancipated minor unless he or his agent first obtains the written consent of both parents or the legal guardian of the minor.
(2) (a) If the minor's parents are divorced or otherwise unmarried and living separate and apart, then the written consent of the parent with primary custody, care and control of such minor shall be sufficient.
(b) If the minor's parents are married and one (1) parent is not available to the person performing the abortion in a reasonable time and manner, then the written consent of the parent who is available shall be sufficient.
(c) If the minor's pregnancy was caused by sexual intercourse with the minor's natural father, adoptive father or stepfather, then the written consent of the minor's mother shall be sufficient.
(3) A minor who elects not to seek or does not obtain consent from her parents or legal guardian under this section may petition, on her own behalf or by next friend, the chancery court in the county in which the minor resides or in the county in which the abortion is to be performed for a waiver of the consent requirement of this section pursuant to the procedures of Section 41-41-55.
(4) A physician or other health care provider may refuse to perform an abortion for reasons of conscience.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.