2012 Missouri Revised Statutes
TITLE XII PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
Chapter 188 Regulation of Abortions
Section 188.030 Abortion of viable unborn child prohibited, exceptions--physician duties--violations, penalty--severability--right of intervention, when.


MO Rev Stat § 188.030 (2012) What's This?

Abortion of viable unborn child prohibited, exceptions--physician duties--violations, penalty--severability--right of intervention, when.

188.030. 1. Except in the case of a medical emergency, no abortion of a viable unborn child shall be performed or induced unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or when continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. For purposes of this section, "major bodily function" includes, but is not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

2. Except in the case of a medical emergency:

(1) Prior to performing or inducing an abortion upon a woman, the physician shall determine the gestational age of the unborn child in a manner consistent with accepted obstetrical and neonatal practices and standards. In making such determination, the physician shall make such inquiries of the pregnant woman and perform or cause to be performed such medical examinations, imaging studies, and tests as a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable about the medical facts and conditions of both the woman and the unborn child involved, would consider necessary to perform and consider in making an accurate diagnosis with respect to gestational age;

(2) If the physician determines that the gestational age of the unborn child is twenty weeks or more, prior to performing or inducing an abortion upon the woman, the physician shall determine if the unborn child is viable by using and exercising that degree of care, skill, and proficiency commonly exercised by a skillful, careful, and prudent physician. In making this determination of viability, the physician shall perform or cause to be performed such medical examinations and tests as are necessary to make a finding of the gestational age, weight, and lung maturity of the unborn child and shall enter such findings and determination of viability in the medical record of the woman;

(3) If the physician determines that the gestational age of the unborn child is twenty weeks or more, and further determines that the unborn child is not viable and performs or induces an abortion upon the woman, the physician shall report such findings and determinations and the reasons for such determinations to the health care facility in which the abortion is performed and to the state board of registration for the healing arts, and shall enter such findings and determinations in the medical records of the woman and in the individual abortion report submitted to the department under section 188.052;

(4) (a) If the physician determines that the unborn child is viable, the physician shall not perform or induce an abortion upon the woman unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman or that a continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman.

(b) Before a physician may proceed with performing or inducing an abortion upon a woman when it has been determined that the unborn child is viable, the physician shall first certify in writing the medical threat posed to the life of the pregnant woman, or the medical reasons that continuation of the pregnancy would cause a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. Upon completion of the abortion, the physician shall report the reasons and determinations for the abortion of a viable unborn child to the health care facility in which the abortion is performed and to the state board of registration for the healing arts, and shall enter such findings and determinations in the medical record of the woman and in the individual abortion report submitted to the department under section 188.052.

(c) Before a physician may proceed with performing or inducing an abortion upon a woman when it has been determined that the unborn child is viable, the physician who is to perform the abortion shall obtain the agreement of a second physician with knowledge of accepted obstetrical and neonatal practices and standards who shall concur that the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman, or that continuation of the pregnancy would cause a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. This second physician shall also report such reasons and determinations to the health care facility in which the abortion is to be performed and to the state board of registration for the healing arts, and shall enter such findings and determinations in the medical record of the woman and the individual abortion report submitted to the department under section 188.052. The second physician shall not have any legal or financial affiliation or relationship with the physician performing or inducing the abortion, except that such prohibition shall not apply to physicians whose legal or financial affiliation or relationship is a result of being employed by or having staff privileges at the same hospital as the term "hospital" is defined in section 197.020.

(d) Any physician who performs or induces an abortion upon a woman when it has been determined that the unborn child is viable shall utilize the available method or technique of abortion most likely to preserve the life or health of the unborn child. In cases where the method or technique of abortion most likely to preserve the life or health of the unborn child would present a greater risk to the life or health of the woman than another legally permitted and available method or technique, the physician may utilize such other method or technique. In all cases where the physician performs an abortion upon a viable unborn child, the physician shall certify in writing the available method or techniques considered and the reasons for choosing the method or technique employed.

(e) No physician shall perform or induce an abortion upon a woman when it has been determined that the unborn child is viable unless there is in attendance a physician other than the physician performing or inducing the abortion who shall take control of and provide immediate medical care for a child born as a result of the abortion. During the performance of the abortion, the physician performing it, and subsequent to the abortion, the physician required to be in attendance, shall take all reasonable steps in keeping with good medical practice, consistent with the procedure used, to preserve the life or health of the viable unborn child; provided that it does not pose an increased risk to the life of the woman or does not pose an increased risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman.

3. Any person who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an unborn child in violation of the provisions of this section is guilty of a class C felony, and, upon a finding of guilt or plea of guilty, shall be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year, and, notwithstanding the provisions of section 560.011, shall be fined not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars.

4. Any physician who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of performing or inducing an abortion of an unborn child in violation of this section shall be subject to suspension or revocation of his or her license to practice medicine in the state of Missouri by the state board of registration for the healing arts under the provisions of sections 334.100 and 334.103.

5. Any hospital licensed in the state of Missouri that knowingly allows an abortion of an unborn child to be performed or induced in violation of this section may be subject to suspension or revocation of its license under the provisions of section 197.070.

6. Any ambulatory surgical center licensed in the state of Missouri that knowingly allows an abortion of an unborn child to be performed or induced in violation of this section may be subject to suspension or revocation of its license under the provisions of section 197.220.

7. A woman upon whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this section shall not be prosecuted for a conspiracy to violate the provisions of this section.

8. Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to abortion, nor is it the intention of this section to make lawful any abortion that is currently unlawful.

9. It is the intent of the legislature that this section be severable as noted in section 1.140. In the event that any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this section be declared invalid under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Missouri, it is the intent of the legislature that the remaining provisions of this section remain in force and effect as far as capable of being carried into execution as intended by the legislature.

10. The general assembly may, by concurrent resolution, appoint one or more of its members who sponsored or co-sponsored this act* in his or her official capacity to intervene as a matter of right in any case in which the constitutionality of this law is challenged.

(L. 1974 H.B. 1211 5, A.L. 1979 H.B. 523, et al., A.L. 2011 H.B. 213 merged with S.B. 65)

*"This act" (H.B. 213 and S.B. 65, 2011) contained sections 188.015 and this section.

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