2919.191 Determination of presence of fetal heartbeat.

(A) A person who intends to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman shall determine whether there is a detectable fetal heartbeat of the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying. The method of determining the presence of a fetal heartbeat shall be consistent with the person's good faith understanding of standard medical practice, provided that if rules have been adopted under division (C) of this section, the method chosen shall be one that is consistent with the rules. The person who determines the presence or absence of a fetal heartbeat shall record in the pregnant woman's medical record the estimated gestational age of the unborn human individual, the method used to test for a fetal heartbeat, the date and time of the test, and the results of the test.

(B)

(1) Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this division, no person shall perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman prior to determining if the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable fetal heartbeat. Any person who performs or induces an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the exception in this division shall note in the pregnant woman's medical records that a medical emergency necessitating the abortion existed and shall also note the medical condition of the pregnant woman that prevented compliance with this division. The person shall maintain a copy of the notes described in this division in the person's own records for at least seven years after the notes are entered into the medical records.

(2) The person who performs the examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat shall give the pregnant woman the option to view or hear the fetal heartbeat.

(C) The director of health may promulgate rules pursuant to section 111.15 of the Revised Code specifying the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat of an unborn individual based on standard medical practice. The rules shall require only that an examination shall be performed externally.

(D) A person is not in violation of division (A) or (B) of this section if that person has performed an examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat in the fetus utilizing standard medical practice, that examination does not reveal a fetal heartbeat or the person has been informed by a physician who has performed the examination for fetal heartbeat that the examination did not reveal a fetal heartbeat, and the person notes in the pregnant woman's medical records the procedure utilized to detect the presence of a fetal heartbeat.

(E) Except as provided in division (F) of this section, no person shall knowingly and purposefully perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining in accordance with division (A) of this section whether the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. The failure of a person to satisfy the requirements of this section prior to performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant woman may be the basis for either of the following:

(1) A civil action for compensatory and exemplary damages;

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

(F) Division (E) of this section does not apply to a physician who performs or induces the abortion if the physician believes that a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with that division.

(G) The director of health may determine and specify in rules adopted pursuant to section 111.15 of the Revised Code and based upon available medical evidence the statistical probability of bringing an unborn human individual to term based on the gestational age of an unborn human individual who possesses a detectable fetal heartbeat.

(H) A woman on whom an abortion is performed in violation of division (B) of this section or division (B)(3) of section 2317.56 of the Revised Code may file a civil action for the wrongful death of the woman's unborn child and may receive at the mother's election at any time prior to final judgment damages in an amount equal to ten thousand dollars or an amount determined by the trier of fact after consideration of the evidence subject to the same defenses and requirements of proof, except any requirement of live birth, as would apply to a suit for the wrongful death of a child who had been born alive.

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