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H.R. 656 (115th): Women’s Public Health and Safety Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 24, 2017 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



1st Session

H. R. 656


January 24, 2017

(for himself, Mrs. Wagner, Mr. Mullin, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Pittenger, Mr. Grothman, Mr. Weber of Texas, and Mr. Latta) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to allow for greater State flexibility with respect to excluding providers who are involved in abortions.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act.


Increasing State flexibility in determining participation of providers who perform, or participate in the performance of, abortions

Section 1902 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396a) is amended—


in subsection (a)(23), by striking subsection (g) and inserting subsection (g), subsection (ll),; and


by adding at the end the following new subsection:


Rules with respect to determination of participation of providers who perform, or participate in the performance of, abortions


In general

Beginning October 1, 2017, subject to paragraph (2), for purposes of this title, a State, at its option, may establish criteria with respect to the participation under the State plan (or under a waiver of the plan) of an institution, agency, entity, or person who performs, or participates in the performance of, abortions.



Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an abortion—


if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or


in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.



For purposes of this subsection, the terms institution, agency, or entity mean the entire legal institution, agency, or entity, or any part thereof, including any institution, agency, or entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with such institution, agency, or entity.