2317.56 Information provided before abortion procedure.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Medical emergency" has the same meaning as in section 2919.16 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Medical necessity" means a medical condition of a pregnant woman that, in the reasonable judgment of the physician who is attending the woman, so complicates the pregnancy that it necessitates the immediate performance or inducement of an abortion.

(3) "Probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus" means the gestational age that, in the judgment of a physician, is, with reasonable probability, the gestational age of the embryo or fetus at the time that the physician informs a pregnant woman pursuant to division (B)(1)(b) of this section.

(B) Except when there is a medical emergency or medical necessity, an abortion shall be performed or induced only if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) At least twenty-four hours prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion, a physician meets with the pregnant woman in person in an individual, private setting and gives her an adequate opportunity to ask questions about the abortion that will be performed or induced. At this meeting, the physician shall inform the pregnant woman, verbally or, if she is hearing impaired, by other means of communication, of all of the following:

(a) The nature and purpose of the particular abortion procedure to be used and the medical risks associated with that procedure;

(b) The probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus;

(c) The medical risks associated with the pregnant woman carrying the pregnancy to term.

The meeting need not occur at the facility where the abortion is to be performed or induced, and the physician involved in the meeting need not be affiliated with that facility or with the physician who is scheduled to perform or induce the abortion.

(2) At least twenty-four hours prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or the physician's agent does each of the following in person, by telephone, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by regular mail evidenced by a certificate of mailing:

(a) Inform the pregnant woman of the name of the physician who is scheduled to perform or induce the abortion;

(b) Give the pregnant woman copies of the published materials described in division (C) of this section;

(c) Inform the pregnant woman that the materials given pursuant to division (B)(2)(b) of this section are published by the state and that they describe the embryo or fetus and list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion. The pregnant woman may choose to examine or not to examine the materials. A physician or an agent of a physician may choose to be disassociated from the materials and may choose to comment or not comment on the materials.

(3) If it has been determined that the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable heartbeat, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion shall comply with the informed consent requirements in section 2919.192 of the Revised Code in addition to complying with the informed consent requirements in divisions (B)(1), (2), (4), and (5) of this section.

(4) Prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion, the pregnant woman signs a form consenting to the abortion and certifies both of the following on that form:

(a) She has received the information and materials described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section, and her questions about the abortion that will be performed or induced have been answered in a satisfactory manner.

(b) She consents to the particular abortion voluntarily, knowingly, intelligently, and without coercion by any person, and she is not under the influence of any drug of abuse or alcohol.

The form shall contain the name and contact information of the physician who provided to the pregnant woman the information described in division (B)(1) of this section.

(5) Prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion, the physician who is scheduled to perform or induce the abortion or the physician's agent receives a copy of the pregnant woman's signed form on which she consents to the abortion and that includes the certification required by division (B) (4) of this section.

(C) The department of health shall publish in English and in Spanish, in a typeface large enough to be clearly legible, and in an easily comprehensible format, the following materials on the department's web site:

(1) Materials that inform the pregnant woman about family planning information, of publicly funded agencies that are available to assist in family planning, and of public and private agencies and services that are available to assist her through the pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent, including, but not limited to, adoption agencies. The materials shall be geographically indexed; include a comprehensive list of the available agencies, a description of the services offered by the agencies, and the telephone numbers and addresses of the agencies; and inform the pregnant woman about available medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care and about the support obligations of the father of a child who is born alive. The department shall ensure that the materials described in division (C)(1) of this section are comprehensive and do not directly or indirectly promote, exclude, or discourage the use of any agency or service described in this division.

(2) Materials that inform the pregnant woman of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus at two-week gestational increments for the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy and at four-week gestational increments from the seventeenth week of pregnancy to full term, including any relevant information regarding the time at which the fetus possibly would be viable. The department shall cause these materials to be published only after it consults with the Ohio state medical association and the Ohio section of the American college of obstetricians and gynecologists relative to the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of a zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus at the various gestational increments. The materials shall use language that is understandable by the average person who is not medically trained, shall be objective and nonjudgmental, and shall include only accurate scientific information about the zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus at the various gestational increments. If the materials use a pictorial, photographic, or other depiction to provide information regarding the zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus, the materials shall include, in a conspicuous manner, a scale or other explanation that is understandable by the average person and that can be used to determine the actual size of the zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus at a particular gestational increment as contrasted with the depicted size of the zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus at that gestational increment.

(D) Upon the submission of a request to the department of health by any person, hospital, physician, or medical facility for one copy of the materials published in accordance with division (C) of this section, the department shall make the requested copy of the materials available to the person, hospital, physician, or medical facility that requested the copy.

(E) If a medical emergency or medical necessity compels the performance or inducement of an abortion, the physician who will perform or induce the abortion, prior to its performance or inducement if possible, shall inform the pregnant woman of the medical indications supporting the physician's judgment that an immediate abortion is necessary. Any physician who performs or induces an abortion without the prior satisfaction of the conditions specified in division (B) of this section because of a medical emergency or medical necessity shall enter the reasons for the conclusion that a medical emergency or medical necessity exists in the medical record of the pregnant woman.

(F) If the conditions specified in division (B) of this section are satisfied, consent to an abortion shall be presumed to be valid and effective.

(G) The performance or inducement of an abortion without the prior satisfaction of the conditions specified in division (B) of this section does not constitute, and shall not be construed as constituting, a violation of division (A) of section 2919.12 of the Revised Code. The failure of a physician to satisfy the conditions of division (B) of this section prior to performing or inducing an abortion upon a pregnant woman may be the basis of both of the following:

(1) A civil action for compensatory and exemplary damages as described in division (H) of this section;

(2) Disciplinary action under section 4731.22 of the Revised Code.

(H)

(1) Subject to divisions (H)(2) and (3) of this section, any physician who performs or induces an abortion with actual knowledge that the conditions specified in division (B) of this section have not been satisfied or with a heedless indifference as to whether those conditions have been satisfied is liable in compensatory and exemplary damages in a civil action to any person, or the representative of the estate of any person, who sustains injury, death, or loss to person or property as a result of the failure to satisfy those conditions. In the civil action, the court additionally may enter any injunctive or other equitable relief that it considers appropriate.

(2) The following shall be affirmative defenses in a civil action authorized by division (H)(1) of this section:

(a) The physician performed or induced the abortion under the circumstances described in division (E) of this section.

(b) The physician made a good faith effort to satisfy the conditions specified in division (B) of this section.

(3) An employer or other principal is not liable in damages in a civil action authorized by division (H)(1) of this section on the basis of the doctrine of respondeat superior unless either of the following applies:

(a) The employer or other principal had actual knowledge or, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known that an employee or agent performed or induced an abortion with actual knowledge that the conditions specified in division (B) of this section had not been satisfied or with a heedless indifference as to whether those conditions had been satisfied.

(b) The employer or other principal negligently failed to secure the compliance of an employee or agent with division (B) of this section.

(4) Notwithstanding division (E) of section 2919.12 of the Revised Code, the civil action authorized by division (H)(1) of this section shall be the exclusive civil remedy for persons, or the representatives of estates of persons, who allegedly sustain injury, death, or loss to person or property as a result of a failure to satisfy the conditions specified in division (B) of this section.

(I) The department of job and family services shall prepare and conduct a public information program to inform women of all available governmental programs and agencies that provide services or assistance for family planning, prenatal care, child care, or alternatives to abortion.

Cite as R.C. § 2317.56

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 07-01-2000