Text of the National Pro-Life Waiting Period Act of 2012

This bill was introduced on January 23, 2012, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 23, 2012 (Introduced).

Download PDF

Source: GPO



2d Session

H. R. 3802


January 23, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, and Mr. Jordan) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To require an abortion provider, before performing an abortion, to wait for a period of at least 24 hours.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Pro-Life Waiting Period Act of 2012.


Waiting period prior to performance of abortion

No abortion provider engaged in interstate or foreign commerce shall perform an abortion without having—


obtained a written certification from the pregnant woman certifying the date and time of her first in-person meeting with the abortion provider to seek the abortion; and


waited for a period of at least 24 hours beginning at the time of obtaining such certification.


Exception for medical emergencies



The provisions of section 2 shall not apply if the abortion 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.




In general

Upon a determination by an abortion provider under subsection (a) that an abortion is necessary to save the life of a mother, such provider shall certify the specific medical conditions that support such determination and include such certification in the medical file of the pregnant woman.


False statements

An abortion provider who willfully falsifies a certification under paragraph (1) shall be subject to all the penalties provided for under section 4 for failure to comply with this Act.


Penalties for failure to comply


Civil penalties


In general

The Attorney General shall assess a civil penalty against any abortion provider who violates this Act in an amount not to exceed—


$100,000 in the case of the first such violation; and


$250,000 in the case of any subsequent such violation.



Upon the assessment of a civil penalty under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall notify the appropriate State medical licensing authority.


Private right of action

A pregnant woman upon whom an abortion has been performed in violation of this Act, or the parent or legal guardian of such a woman if she is an unemancipated minor, may commence a civil action against the abortion provider for any willful violation of this Act for actual and punitive damages.


Waiting periods under State law

This Act does not affect the duration of any waiting period required under State law that is equal to or longer than the duration of the waiting period required by section 2(2).



In this Act:


The term abortion means the intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or other device, substance, or method to terminate the life of an unborn child, or to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than—


to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth; or


to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant female or her unborn child.


The term abortion provider means any individual or entity that performs an abortion.


The term unemancipated minor means a minor who is subject to the control, authority, and supervision of his or her parents or guardians, as determined under State law.