Bill Text: TX SB95 | 2017 | 85th Legislature 1st Special Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the Whole Woman's Health Act.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-07-19 - Filed [SB95 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB95-Introduced.html
  85S10772 DMS-F
 
  By: Rodríguez S.B. No. 95
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the Whole Woman's Health Act.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  (a) This Act shall be known as the Whole Woman's
  Health Act.
         (b)  The legislature finds that:
               (1)  comprehensive reproductive health care, including
  safe abortion, is a vital component of a woman's overall health and
  of her social and economic equality;
               (2)  abortion is one of the safest medical procedures
  in the United States, as demonstrated by available data, including
  from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  showing abortion has a more than 99 percent safety record;
               (3)  any regulation of medical care must have a
  legitimate purpose and advance the goals of improving the quality
  of care and increasing access to care;
               (4)  the United States Supreme Court held more than 40
  years ago in Roe v. Wade that access to an abortion is a
  constitutional right and that states may not prohibit abortion
  before viability;
               (5)  the right to an abortion has been upheld multiple
  times by the United States Supreme Court, including in the 1992 case
  Planned Parenthood v. Casey and most recently in the landmark
  decision Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt;
               (6)  in Whole Woman's Health, the court held that the
  United States Constitution "requires that courts consider the
  burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits
  those laws confer";
               (7)  in Whole Woman's Health, the court further held
  that courts, "when determining the constitutionality of laws
  regulating abortion procedures," must place "considerable weight
  upon evidence . . . presented";
               (8)  applying the standard described in Subdivision (7)
  of this section in Whole Woman's Health, the court struck down two
  provisions of Chapter 1 (H.B. 2), Acts of the 83rd Legislature, 2nd
  Called Session, 2013, that were designed to close abortion clinics
  in the state and that the court concluded provided few, if any,
  health benefits for women;
               (9)  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concluded in Whole
  Woman's Health given the safety of abortion, "it is beyond rational
  belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and
  certain that the law 'would simply make it more difficult for them
  to obtain abortions'";
               (10)  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also observed
  abortion restrictions that "'do little or nothing for health, but
  rather strew impediments to abortion' . . . cannot survive judicial
  inspection";
               (11)  according to the American College of
  Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association,
  American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Osteopathic
  Association, which are leading public health organizations and
  amici curiae for the petitioners in Whole Woman's Health,
  "[w]omen's access to high-quality, evidence-based abortion should
  not be limited by laws enacted under the guise of patient safety but
  that, in fact, harm women's health"; and
               (12)  the 334 restrictions on abortion providers and
  their patients adopted nationally since 2011 and the 13 onerous
  restrictions enacted in this state based on pretextual reasons are
  just a systematic attempt to eliminate access to safe and legal
  medical care.
         (c)  In accordance with the United States Constitution, it is
  the intent of the legislature to prevent the enforcement of laws or
  regulations that burden abortion access and do not provide
  legitimate health benefits.
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Chapter 170, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 170. PROHIBITED ACTS REGARDING ABORTION AND RIGHT TO
  ABORTION
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 170, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Sections 170.003 and 170.004 to read as follows:
         Sec. 170.003.  RIGHT TO ABORTION. Every woman in this state
  has the fundamental right to choose to obtain a safe and legal
  abortion. This state or a political subdivision of this state may
  not prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion at any time
  throughout her pregnancy if the termination is necessary, in the
  professional judgment of a physician, to protect the woman's life
  or health.
         Sec. 170.004.  PROHIBITED ABORTION LAWS; CIVIL ACTION;
  WAIVER OF IMMUNITY. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, this state
  or a political subdivision of this state may not enforce a law on
  abortion that places a burden on a woman's access to abortion and
  does not confer any legitimate health benefit to the woman.
         (b)  For purposes of Subsection (a), a law places a burden on
  access to abortion if the law:
               (1)  forces abortion providers to close;
               (2)  increases the time a woman is required to wait to
  have an abortion;
               (3)  requires a meaningful increase in the distance a
  woman is required to travel to access care;
               (4)  requires medically unnecessary visits to a health
  care facility;
               (5)  requires a health care provider to perform a
  medical or health care service the provider would not otherwise
  perform;
               (6)  increases the risk to a woman's health;
               (7)  causes a meaningful increase in the cost of an
  abortion procedure;
               (8)  is enacted solely for the purpose of stigmatizing
  abortion patients and abortion providers; or
               (9)  has as its sole purpose or effect decreasing or
  eliminating access to abortion.
         (c)  For purposes of Subsection (a), a law confers a
  legitimate health benefit if the law:
               (1)  expands a woman's access to medical or health care
  services; or
               (2)  increases an abortion patient's safety according
  to evidence-based research.
         (d)  A person who is aggrieved by this state's or a political
  subdivision's violation of Subsection (a) may bring a civil action
  against this state or the political subdivision for injunctive
  relief and damages incurred as a result of the violation. Sovereign
  immunity of this state and governmental immunity of the political
  subdivision from suit and to liability are waived and abolished to
  the extent of liability created under this subsection.
         SECTION 4.  Section 171.003, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 171.003.  PERSONS WHO MAY [PHYSICIAN TO] PERFORM
  ABORTION. An abortion may be performed only by:
               (1)  a physician licensed to practice medicine in this
  state;
               (2)  a nurse licensed under Subtitle E, Title 3,
  Occupations Code, operating within the nurse's scope of practice;
  or
               (3)  a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204,
  Occupations Code, operating within the physician assistant's scope
  of practice.
         SECTION 5.  The heading to Section 245.010, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 245.010.  PERSONS WHO MAY PERFORM ABORTION [MINIMUM
  STANDARDS].
         SECTION 6.  Section 245.010(b), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  Only a physician as defined by Subtitle B, Title 3,
  Occupations Code, a nurse licensed under Subtitle E, Title 3,
  Occupations Code, operating within the scope of that license, or a
  physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code,
  operating within the scope of that license may perform an abortion.
         SECTION 7.  Section 164.052(a), Occupations Code, as
  effective September 1, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A physician or an applicant for a license to practice
  medicine commits a prohibited practice if that person:
               (1)  submits to the board a false or misleading
  statement, document, or certificate in an application for a
  license;
               (2)  presents to the board a license, certificate, or
  diploma that was illegally or fraudulently obtained;
               (3)  commits fraud or deception in taking or passing an
  examination;
               (4)  uses alcohol or drugs in an intemperate manner
  that, in the board's opinion, could endanger a patient's life;
               (5)  commits unprofessional or dishonorable conduct
  that is likely to deceive or defraud the public, as provided by
  Section 164.053, or injure the public;
               (6)  uses an advertising statement that is false,
  misleading, or deceptive;
               (7)  advertises professional superiority or the
  performance of professional service in a superior manner if that
  advertising is not readily subject to verification;
               (8)  purchases, sells, barters, or uses, or offers to
  purchase, sell, barter, or use, a medical degree, license,
  certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a license, certificate,
  or diploma in or incident to an application to the board for a
  license to practice medicine;
               (9)  alters, with fraudulent intent, a medical license,
  certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a medical license,
  certificate, or diploma;
               (10)  uses a medical license, certificate, or diploma,
  or a transcript of a medical license, certificate, or diploma that
  has been:
                     (A)  fraudulently purchased or issued;
                     (B)  counterfeited; or
                     (C)  materially altered;
               (11)  impersonates or acts as proxy for another person
  in an examination required by this subtitle for a medical license;
               (12)  engages in conduct that subverts or attempts to
  subvert an examination process required by this subtitle for a
  medical license;
               (13)  impersonates a physician or permits another to
  use the person's license or certificate to practice medicine in
  this state;
               (14)  directly or indirectly employs a person whose
  license to practice medicine has been suspended, canceled, or
  revoked;
               (15)  associates in the practice of medicine with a
  person:
                     (A)  whose license to practice medicine has been
  suspended, canceled, or revoked; or
                     (B)  who has been convicted of the unlawful
  practice of medicine in this state or elsewhere;
               (16)  performs or procures a criminal abortion, aids or
  abets in the procuring of a criminal abortion, attempts to perform
  or procure a criminal abortion, or attempts to aid or abet the
  performance or procurement of a criminal abortion;
               (17)  directly or indirectly aids or abets the practice
  of medicine by a person, partnership, association, or corporation
  that is not licensed to practice medicine by the board;
               (18)  performs an abortion on a woman who is pregnant
  with a viable unborn child during the third trimester of the
  pregnancy unless:
                     (A)  the abortion is necessary to protect the
  health or prevent the death of the woman;
                     (B)  the viable unborn child has a severe,
  irreversible brain impairment; or
                     (C)  the woman is diagnosed with a significant
  likelihood of suffering imminent severe, irreversible brain damage
  or imminent severe, irreversible paralysis;
               (19)  performs an abortion on an unemancipated minor
  without the written consent of the child's parent, managing
  conservator, or legal guardian or without a court order, as
  provided by Section 33.003 or 33.004, Family Code, unless the
  abortion is necessary due to a medical emergency, as defined by
  Section 171.002, Health and Safety Code; or
               (20)  otherwise performs an abortion on an
  unemancipated minor in violation of Chapter 33, Family Code[; or
               [(21)     performs or induces or attempts to perform or
  induce an abortion in violation of Subchapter C, F, or G, Chapter
  171, Health and Safety Code].
         SECTION 8.  Section 164.055(b), Occupations Code, as
  effective September 1, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The sanctions provided by Subsection (a) are in addition
  to any other grounds for refusal to admit persons to examination
  under this subtitle or to issue a license or renew a license to
  practice medicine under this subtitle.  The criminal penalties
  provided by Section 165.152 do not apply to a violation of Section
  170.002, Health and Safety Code[, or Subchapter C, F, or G, Chapter
  171, Health and Safety Code].
         SECTION 9.  The following provisions are repealed:
               (1)  Section 32.005, Health and Safety Code;
               (2)  Sections 171.0031, 171.004, 171.012, 171.0121,
  171.0122, 171.0123, 171.013, 171.014, 171.015, 171.016, 171.017,
  and 171.018, Health and Safety Code;
               (3)  Subchapters C, D, F, and G, Chapter 171, Health and
  Safety Code;
               (4)  Sections 241.007, 243.017, 245.010(a), and
  245.024, Health and Safety Code; and
               (5)  Section 164.0551, Occupations Code.
         SECTION 10.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to an abortion performed on or after the effective date of this Act.
  An abortion performed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law applicable to the abortion immediately before
  the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect
  for that purpose.
         SECTION 11.  This Act takes effect December 1, 2017.
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