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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 31, 2012.
District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit any person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion within the District of Columbia except in conformity with this Act's requirements.
Requires the physician to first make a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child, or reasonably rely upon such a determination made by another physician, by making inquiries of the pregnant woman and performing such medical examinations and tests as a reasonably prudent physician would consider necessary.
Prohibits the abortion from being performed if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater. Makes an exception where necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury, excluding psychological or emotional conditions. Permits a physician to terminate a pregnancy under such exception only in the manner which provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman than would other available methods.
Prescribes penalties for violations. Bars prosecution of a woman upon whom an abortion is performed in violation of this Act, but authorizes such a woman or the father or maternal grandparent of the unborn child to obtain appropriate relief through a civil action. Provides for injunctive relief to prevent violations. Sets forth specified privacy protections in court proceedings for the woman upon whom an abortion has been performed.
Requires any physician who performs an abortion within the District to report it to the Department of Health of the District of Columbia, which shall issue annual public reports.