2015 Kentucky Revised Statutes
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Performance of abortion upon a minor -- Definitions -- Consent
requirement -- Petition in District or Circuit Court -- Medical emergencies.
For purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Minor" means any person under the age of eighteen (18);
(b) "Emancipated minor" means any minor who is or has been married or has by
court order or otherwise been freed from the care, custody, and control of her
(c) "Abortion" means the use of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other
substance or device with intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known
to be pregnant with intent other than to increase the probability of a live birth,
to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove a dead
No person shall perform an abortion upon a minor unless:
(a) The attending physician or his agent secured the informed written consent of
the minor and one (1) parent or legal guardian;
(b) The minor is emancipated and the attending physician or his agent has
received the informed written consent of the minor; or
(c) The minor elects to petition any Circuit or District Court of the
Commonwealth pursuant to subsection (3) of this section and obtain an order
pursuant to subsection (4) of this section granting consent to the abortion and
the attending physician or his agent has received the informed written consent
of the minor.
Every minor shall have the right to petition any Circuit or District Court of the
Commonwealth for an order granting the right to self-consent to an abortion
pursuant to the following procedures:
(a) The minor or her next friend may prepare and file a petition setting forth the
request of the minor for an order of consent to an abortion;
(b) The court shall insure that the minor prepares or her next friend is given
assistance in preparing and filing the petition and shall insure that the minor's
identity is kept anonymous;
(c) The minor may participate in proceedings in the court on her own behalf or
through her next friend and the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for her.
The court shall advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel and
shall provide her with such counsel upon her request;
(d) All proceedings under this section shall be anonymous and shall be given
preference over other matters to insure that the court may reach a decision
promptly, but in no case shall the court fail to rule within seventy-two (72)
hours of the time of application, provided that the seventy-two (72) hour
limitation may be extended at the request of the minor; and
(e) The court shall hold a hearing on the merits of the petition before reaching a
decision. The court shall hear evidence at the hearing relating to the emotional
development, maturity, intellect, and understanding of the minor; the nature,
possible consequences, and alternatives to the abortion; and any other
evidence that the court may find useful in determining whether the minor
should be granted majority rights for the purpose of consenting to the abortion
or whether the abortion is in the best interest of the minor.
(4) The court shall enter a written order, making specific factual findings and legal
conclusions supporting its decision as follows:
(a) Granting the petition for an abortion if the court finds that the minor is mature
and well informed enough to make the abortion decision on her own;
(b) Granting consent to the abortion if the court finds that the performance of the
abortion would be in the minor's best interest; or
(c) Deny the petition, if the court finds that the minor is immature and that
performance of the abortion would not be in the minor's best interest.
(5) Any minor shall have the right of anonymous and expedited appeal to the Court of
Appeals, and that court shall give precedence over other pending matters.
(6) No fees shall be required of any minor who declares she has no sufficient funds to
pursue the procedures provided by this section.
(7) The Supreme Court is respectfully requested to promulgate any rules and
regulations it feels are necessary to ensure that proceedings under this section are
handled in an expeditious and anonymous manner.
(8) The requirements of subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section shall not apply
when, in the best medical judgment of the physician based on the facts of the case
before him, a medical emergency exists that so complicates the pregnancy as to
require an immediate abortion. A physician who does not comply with subsection
(2), (3), or (4) of this section due to the utilization of this exception shall certify in
writing the medical indications upon which his judgment was based.
(9) A report indicating the basis for any medical judgment that warrants failure to
obtain consent pursuant to this section shall be filed with the Cabinet for Health and
Family Services on a form supplied by the cabinet. This report shall be confidential.
(10) Failure to obtain consent pursuant to the requirements of this section is prima facie
evidence of failure to obtain informed consent and of interference with family
relations in appropriate civil actions. The law of this state shall not be construed to
preclude the award of exemplary damages in any appropriate civil action relevant to
violations of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
common-law rights of parents.
Effective: June 20, 2005
History: Amended 2005 Ky. Acts ch. 99, sec. 588, effective June 20, 2005. -- Amended
1998 Ky. Acts ch. 426, sec. 542, effective July 15, 1998. -- Amended 1994 Ky. Acts
ch. 253, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1994. -- Amended 1986 Ky. Acts ch. 375, sec. 1,
effective July 15, 1986. -- Amended 1984 Ky. Acts ch. 111, sec. 132, effective July
13, 1984. -- Created 1982 Ky. Acts ch. 342, sec. 6, effective July 15, 1982.
CHAPTER 311 - PHYSICIANS, OSTEOPATHS, PODIATRISTS, AND RELATED MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS
311.732 Performance of abortion upon a minor -- Definitions -- Consent requirement -- Petition in District or Circuit Court -- Medical emergencies.
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