While many states are tightening regulations and oversight of abortion clinics after the revelations of the “house of horrors” conditions in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic in Philadelphia, a Planned Parenthood-promoted bill, AB 980, by Sacramento Assemblyman Richard Pan, a pediatrician, will require the California Department of Public Health to repeal all abortion service regulations in California “not later than July 1, 2014”.
The repeal will occur while another bill, AB 154, passed by Democrat legislators and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, allows non-physician midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform abortions.
This repeal of all abortion regulations will apply even to abortions performed by non-physicians on girls as young as 12 years old, and without notification of a parent.
Catherine Short, legal director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, stated that she was shocked when she realized that AB 980 repealed all of California’s abortion informed consent requirements before an abortion could be performed.
AB 980 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on October 9, 2013.
The key sentence in AB 980 states:
Section 18944.18 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
(b) The State Department of Public Health shall, no later than July 1, 2014, repeal the regulations relating to abortion services in primary care clinics contained in Article 5 (commencing with Section 75040) of Chapter 7 of Division 5 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.”
The Abortion Service regulations to be completely repealed (not amended) by the California State Department of Public Health “not later than July 1, 2014” constitute the entirety of all five sections of the California legal regulations for: Article 5. Abortion Services.
The Article 5 Abortion Service regulations are divided into five sections: General Requirements, Policies and Procedures, Equipment and Supplies, Staff, and Space.
The “General Requirements” to be repealed include informed consent for patients and require “preabortion and postabortion information and education sessions” with specific information.
This includes: (A) How the abortion procedure is performed. (B) Possible risks and complications. (C) Options or alternatives to abortion.
Another regulation to be repealed: “Preabortion informational and educational sessions shall be documented in each patient’s medical record and shall be signed and dated by the person providing this instruction and by the patient.”
Equipment, Staff, and Space regulations to be repealed include requirements for oxygen source and mask, emergency equipment and medications, a licensed physician to perform the abortions and a licensed nurse to be present, and minimum space requirements for the “abortion room”, postabortion recovery area, and counseling area.
All these Abortion Service regulations, which are much less than many states require, must be totally “repealed”, “not later than July 1, 2014”.
The California Abortion Service regulations to be repealed not later than July 1 are:
Title 22. Social Security
Division 5. Licensing and Certification of Health Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Clinics, and Referral Agencies
Chapter 7. Primary Care Clinics
Article 5. Abortion Service
§ 75040. Abortion Service -General Requirements.
(a) Primary care clinics providing abortion services shall provide:
(1) Preabortion and postabortion information and education sessions. These sessions shall include but not be limited to:
(A) How the abortion procedure is performed.
(B) Possible risks and complications.
(C) Options or alternatives to abortion.
(D) Post-procedure medical services.
(E) Family planning information and education.
(2) Laboratory Services.
(b) The physician shall make a gross examination of the aborted specimen and shall refer the specimen to a pathologist if no products of conception are visualized or if the tissue appears abnormal. Products of conception shall be disposed of after examination, in accordance with Section 75069.
(c) Preabortion informational and educational sessions shall be documented in each patient’s medical record and shall be signed and dated by the person providing this instruction and by the patient.
§ 75041. Abortion Service -Policies and Procedures.
(a) The policies and procedures which the clinic shall implement shall include but not be limited to the following subjects:
(1) Medical criteria for selection of patients.
(2) Determination of pregnancy status.
(3) Rh typing.
(4) Information and education sessions for the patient before and after the abortion.
(5) Postabortion care of the patient in the recovery area.
(6) Referral and transfer of the patient to other agencies or programs for additional medical services and counseling beyond the scope of the clinic.
(7) Follow-up of patients after the abortion.
(8) Notice to patients that they must arrange for postabortion transportation.
(9) Provision for family planning information and education.
§ 75042. Abortion Service -Equipment and Supplies.
(a) There shall be adequate and appropriate equipment and supplies maintained to provide the services offered, including at least the following:
(1) Standard gynecological examination table.
(2) Pharyngeal suction equipment.
(3) Oxygen source and mask.
(4) Surgical instruments necessary for the performance of the abortion.
(5) Emergency medications.
(6) Appropriate intravenous fluids.
§ 75043. Abortion Service -Staff.
(a) A physician who is certified or eligible for certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or a physician with training and experience in performing abortions shall be responsible for the abortion service. This physician may also hold the position of professional director of the clinic. Only a physician responsible to the professional director of the clinic may perform abortions.
(b) A licensed nurse shall be present in the clinic when an abortion is performed.
(c) A system ensuring availability of staff for follow-up care or referral of patients shall be operative on a 24-hour basis.
§ 75044. Abortion Service -Space.
(a) Each abortion room shall have a floor area which can accommodate the patient, the equipment and supplies required in Section 75042 and the staff required in Section 75043.
(b) A postabortion recovery area shall be maintained. The area shall be adequate for the number of patients recovering at any given time and shall provide privacy for those patients who request it.
(c) Space for a counseling area shall be maintained and may be the same area as the postabortion recovery area. The counseling area shall provide privacy for those patients who request it.
(d) Provisions for the storage of patient’s clothing and personal items shall be maintained.