2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 31 - HEALTH
CHAPTER 9A - WOMAN'S RIGHT TO KNOW
§ 31-9A-3 - Voluntary and informed consent to abortion; availability of ultrasound

O.C.G.A. 31-9A-3 (2010)
31-9A-3. Voluntary and informed consent to abortion; availability of ultrasound


No abortion shall be performed in this state except with the voluntary and informed consent of the female upon whom the abortion is to be performed. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, except in the case of a medical emergency, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed if and only if:

(1) The female is told the following, by telephone or in person, by the physician who is to perform the abortion, by a qualified agent of the physician who is to perform the abortion, by a qualified agent of a referring physician, or by a referring physician, at least 24 hours before the abortion:

(A) The particular medical risks to the individual patient associated with the particular abortion procedure to be employed, when medically accurate;

(B) The probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion would be performed; and

(C) The medical risks associated with carrying the unborn child to term.

The information required by this paragraph may be provided by telephone without conducting a physical examination or tests of the patient, in which case the information required to be provided may be based on facts supplied to the physician by the female and whatever other relevant information is reasonably available to the physician. Such information may not be provided by a tape recording but must be provided during a consultation in which the physician or a qualified agent of the physician is able to ask questions of the female and the female is able to ask questions of the physician or the physician's qualified agent. If in the medical judgment of the physician any physical examination, tests, or other information subsequently provided to the physician requires a revision of the information previously supplied to the patient, that revised information shall be communicated to the patient prior to the performance of the abortion. Nothing in this Code section may be construed to preclude provision of required information in a language understood by the patient through a translator;

(2) The female is informed, by telephone or in person, by the physician who is to perform the abortion, by a referring physician, or by a qualified agent of the physician who is to perform the abortion at least 24 hours before the abortion:

(A) That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;

(B) That the father will be liable pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-7-49 to assist in the support of her child;

(C) How to obtain a list of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that offer to perform ultrasounds free of charge; such list shall be arranged geographically and shall include the name, address, hours of operation, and telephone number of each listed entity; and

(D) That she has the right to review the printed materials described in Code Section 31-9A-4 and that these materials are available on a state sponsored website at a stated website address. The physician or the physician's qualified agent shall orally inform the female that materials have been provided by the State of Georgia and that they describe the unborn child, list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion, and contain information on fetal pain. If the female chooses to view the materials other than on the website, they shall either be given to her at least 24 hours before the abortion or mailed to her at least 72 hours before the abortion by certified mail, restricted delivery to addressee.

The information required by this paragraph may be provided by a tape recording if provision is made to record or otherwise register specifically whether the female does or does not choose to review the printed materials other than on the website;

(3) The female certifies in writing, prior to the abortion, that the information described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Code section has been furnished her and that she has been informed of her opportunity to review the information referred to in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of this Code section;

(4) For all cases in which an ultrasound is performed prior to conducting an abortion or a pre-abortion screen:

(A) The woman shall at the conclusion of the ultrasound be offered the opportunity to view the fetal image and hear the fetal heartbeat. The active ultrasound image shall be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the unborn child, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs, including but not limited to the heartbeat, if present or viewable, of the unborn child. The auscultation of fetal heart tone shall be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community; and

(B) At the conclusion of these actions and prior to the abortion, the female certifies in writing that:

(i) She was provided the opportunity described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;

(ii) Whether or not she elected to view the sonogram; and

(iii) Whether or not she elected to listen to the fetal heartbeat, if present; and

(5) Prior to the performance of the abortion, the physician who is to perform the abortion or the physician's qualified agent receives a copy of the written certifications prescribed by paragraphs (3) and (4) of this Code section and retains them on file with the female's medical record for at least three years following the date of receipt.

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