IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 6, 2009
Mr. Vitter introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To impose admitting privilege requirements with respect to physicians who perform abortions.
This Act may be cited as
Pregnant Women Health and Safety
Requirement for physicians relating to the performance of abortions
Chapter 74 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Prohibition on certain procedures
A physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs an abortion and, in doing so, fails to comply with subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection shall not apply to an abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother 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.
A physician who performs an abortion shall—
have admitting privileges at a hospital to which the physician can travel in one hour or less (determined on the basis of starting at the principal medical office of the physician and traveling to the hospital) and under the average conditions of travel for the physician; and
at the time of the abortion, notify the patient involved of the hospital location where the patient can receive follow-up care by the physician if complications resulting from the abortion arise.
As used in this section, the term physician means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery by the State in which the doctor performs such activity, or any other individual legally authorized by the State to perform abortions: Provided, however, That any individual who is not a physician or not otherwise legally authorized by the State to perform abortions, but who nevertheless directly performs an abortion, shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
A woman upon whom a procedure described in subsection (a) is performed may not be prosecuted under this section, for a conspiracy to violate this section, or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of this title based on a violation of this section.
Requirement of abortion clinics
Each abortion clinic that receives any Federal funds or assistance shall—
be licensed by the State in which it is located; and
be in compliance with the requirements existing on the date of enactment of this Act for ambulatory surgery centers under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1935 et seq.), except for the requirement of a certificate of public need.
For purposes of complying with subsection (a)(2) with respect to an abortion clinic, a State board of health may waive the application of certain structural requirements (as determined appropriate by the Secretary of Health and Human Services).
In this section, the term abortion clinic mean a facility other than a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center, in which 25 or more first trimester abortions are performed during any 12-month period.