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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 3575

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to health; prohibiting saline amniocentesis; providing civil and criminal
penalties; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 145.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [145.417] SALINE AMNIOCENTESIS PROHIBITED.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) "Abortion" means the use or prescription of any
instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device used intentionally to
terminate the pregnancy of a female known to be pregnant with an intention other than to
increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after a live
birth, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion,
accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant female or her unborn child.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Saline amniocentesis abortion" is a procedure whereby a saline solution is
inserted into the amniotic sac for the purpose of killing the unborn child and artificially
inducing labor.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Unborn child" means an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens
from fertilization until live birth.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Attempt to perform or induce an abortion" means to do or omit to do anything
that, under the circumstances as the actor believes them to be, is an act or omission
constituting a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in performing
an abortion. Such substantial steps include, but are not limited to:
new text end

new text begin (1) agreeing with an individual to perform an abortion on that individual or on
some other person, whether or not the term "abortion" is used in the agreement, and
whether or not the agreement is contingent on another factor such as receipt of payment or
a determination of pregnancy; or
new text end

new text begin (2) scheduling or planning a time to perform an abortion on an individual, whether
or not the term "abortion" is used, and whether or not the performance is contingent on
another factor such as receipt of payment or a determination of pregnancy.
new text end

new text begin This definition shall not be construed to require that an abortion procedure actually must
be initiated for an attempt to occur.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Saline amniocentesis abortions prohibited. new text end

new text begin It is unlawful to perform or
induce, or attempt to perform or induce, a saline amniocentesis abortion.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Exception. new text end

new text begin It shall not be a violation of subdivision 2 when, in the certified
professional judgment of the attending or referring physician, a saline amniocentesis
abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother whose life is endangered by a physical
disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical
condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. The certified professional
judgment of the attending or referring physician must be a medical judgment that would be
made by a reasonably prudent physician knowledgeable about the case and the treatment
possibilities with respect to the medical conditions involved.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3a. new text end

new text begin Immunity from liability. new text end

new text begin No nurse, technician, secretary, receptionist,
or other employee or agent who is not a physician but who acts at the direction of a
physician, and no pharmacist or other individual who is not a physician but who fills a
prescription or provides instruments or materials used in an abortion at the direction of or
to a physician shall be liable for an attempt to perform an abortion.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Affirmative defenses. new text end

new text begin In any proceeding under subdivision 5 or 6 relating
to a violation of subdivision 2, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant performed or
attempted to perform an abortion for a reason specified in subdivision 3.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Criminal penalty. new text end

new text begin (a) A person who knowingly performs or induces the
performance or induction of an abortion contrary to the provisions of this section shall be
guilty of a felony.
new text end

new text begin (b) A person who knowingly attempts to perform or induce the performance or
induction of an abortion contrary to the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Injunctive remedies. new text end

new text begin (a) A person with standing may maintain an
action against the performance or attempted performance of abortions unlawful under
subdivision 2. Those with standing are:
new text end

new text begin (1) the attorney general;
new text end

new text begin (2) county attorneys;
new text end

new text begin (3) a woman upon whom an abortion unlawful under subdivision 2 has been
performed or attempted to be performed;
new text end

new text begin (4) the parent of a minor upon whom an abortion unlawful under subdivision 2 has
been or is about to be performed or attempted to be performed; and
new text end

new text begin (5) the father of the unborn child subject to an abortion unlawful under subdivision 2
that has been, or is about to be, performed or attempted to be performed.
new text end

new text begin (b) The attorney general and county attorneys may maintain an action only against
those shown to have performed, attempted to perform, or about to perform, an abortion
unlawful under subdivision 2. A woman under paragraph (a), clause (3), may maintain
an action only against the person or persons who performed or attempted to perform the
unlawful abortion. Persons under paragraph (a), clauses (4) and (5), may maintain an
action against the person or persons who performed or attempted to perform the unlawful
abortion that is the source of their standing and may seek to enjoin other individuals from
performing or attempting to perform an unlawful abortion on the relative of the plaintiff or
the woman specified in paragraph (a), clause (3).
new text end

new text begin (c) Parties bringing actions against the performance or attempted performance of
unlawful abortions may seek temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and
injunctions according to the rules of civil procedure. If oral or documentary information
is sought from a defendant or witness by the plaintiff through discovery or other means,
and the defendant or witness claims a privilege against self-incrimination, the court shall
rule on whether the defendant or witness is entitled to claim the privilege. If the court
rules the privilege is properly claimed, it shall issue an order identifying what is subject to
the privilege, and neither the identified material nor any evidence derived from it may
thereafter be used in any criminal prosecution against the person from whom it was
obtained after the claim of privilege unless the prosecutor proves that it was obtained
from entirely independent sources. The court shall direct that the information be deemed
privileged as provided.
new text end

new text begin (d) A person who knowingly violates the terms of an injunction against the
performance or attempted performance of unlawful abortions shall be subject to civil
contempt, and shall be fined $10,000 for the first violation, $50,000 for the second
violation, $100,000 for the third violation, and for each succeeding violation an amount in
excess of $100,000 sufficient to deter future violations. The fines shall be the exclusive
penalties for such contempt. Each performance or attempted performance of an unlawful
abortion in violation of the terms of an injunction is a separate violation. These fines shall
be cumulative. No fine may be assessed against the woman on whom an abortion is
performed or attempted.
new text end

new text begin (e) If judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff in any action for an injunction
or if a defendant is adjudged in contempt of a temporary restraining order, preliminary
injunction, or injunction, the court shall also render judgment for reasonable attorney fees
in favor of the plaintiff against the defendant. No attorney fee may be assessed against
the woman on whom an abortion is performed or attempted. The attorney fee shall be
taxed and collected as other costs of the action, and when collected, shall be paid to the
attorney for the plaintiff. If the attorney is the attorney general, the attorney fee shall be
paid into the state treasury. If the attorney is a county attorney, the attorney fee shall
be paid into the county treasury.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Civil damages for unlawful abortions. new text end

new text begin Any person with standing under
subdivision 6 may maintain an action against the person who performed or attempted an
abortion unlawful under subdivision 2 with knowledge that or with reckless disregard for
whether it was such an abortion. The action may seek $10,000 in punitive damages and
treble whatever actual damages the plaintiff may have sustained. Those with standing
under subdivision 6, paragraph (a), clauses (3) to (5), may maintain an action only
against a person who performed or attempted to perform the unlawful abortion that is the
source of their standing. No damages may be assessed against the woman on whom an
abortion is performed or attempted. No person shall be estopped from recovery in such
a suit on the grounds that either the plaintiff or the person upon whom the abortion was
performed or attempted gave consent to the abortion. Any contract of indemnification
for such damages shall be void.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Privacy of woman upon whom an unlawful abortion is performed or
attempted.
new text end

new text begin In every proceeding or action brought under subdivision 6 or 7, the court
shall rule whether the anonymity of any woman upon whom an abortion is performed or
attempted should be preserved from public disclosure if she does not give her consent
to such disclosure. The court, upon motion or sua sponte, shall make such a ruling
and, upon determining that her anonymity should be preserved, shall issue orders to the
parties, witnesses, and counsel, and shall direct the sealing of the record and exclusion of
individuals from courtrooms or hearing rooms, to the extent necessary to safeguard her
identity from public disclosure. Each such order shall be accompanied by specific written
findings explaining why the anonymity of the woman should be preserved from public
disclosure, why the order is essential to that end, how the order is narrowly tailored to
serve that interest, and why no reasonable less restrictive alternative exists. In the absence
of written consent of the woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted,
anyone, other than a public official, who brings an action under subdivision 6 or 7, shall
do so under a pseudonym. This subdivision shall not be construed to conceal the identity
of the plaintiff or of witnesses from the defendant.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Savings provision. new text end

new text begin This section shall not be construed to repeal or modify,
by implication or otherwise, any provision of state law not expressly altered by this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Severability. new text end

new text begin If any one or more provision, section, subdivision,
sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act or the application thereof to any person or
circumstance is found to be unconstitutional, the same is hereby declared to be severable
and the balance of this act shall remain effective notwithstanding such unconstitutionality.
The legislature hereby declares that it would have passed this act, and each provision,
section, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or word thereof, irrespective of the fact that
any one or more provision, section, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or word be
declared unconstitutional.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Supreme Court jurisdiction. new text end

new text begin The Minnesota Supreme Court has original
jurisdiction over an action challenging the constitutionality of this act and shall expedite
the resolution of the action.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end