Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of iowa



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SF 44 (LSB 1704XS (2) 86)

SENATE FILE 44
BY  ANDERSON


A BILL FOR

An Act prohibiting gender-selection abortions, and providing penalties.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
   Section 1.  NEW SECTION.  146A.1  Gender-selection abortions —— prohibited —— criminal penalties —— certification —— civil and injunctive relief.
   1.  A person who knowingly does any of the following commits a class “C” felony:
   a.  Performs an abortion which is sought based upon the gender of the fetus.
   b.  Uses force or the threat of force for the purpose of coercing a woman into an abortion based on gender of the fetus.
   c.  Solicits or accepts money to perform an abortion based upon the gender of the fetus.
   2.  A criminal penalty shall not be imposed under this section on a woman upon whom an abortion is performed.
   3.  A physician shall not perform an abortion on a woman unless the physician first certifies in writing that the physician is not performing the abortion based on the gender of the fetus and has no knowledge that the woman seeking the abortion is seeking the abortion based upon the gender of the fetus. A copy of the written certification shall be maintained in the woman’s medical record.
   4.  A woman upon whom a gender-selection abortion is performed in violation of this section, or the spouse of the woman at the time that the gender-selection abortion is performed on the woman in violation of this section, may maintain a civil action against the physician who performed the abortion in violation of this section for actual damages. If the plaintiff prevails in an action brought under this subsection, the plaintiff shall be entitled to an award for reasonable attorney fees. If the defendant prevails in an action brought under this section and the court finds that the plaintiff’s suit was frivolous and brought in bad faith, the defendant shall be entitled to an award for reasonable attorney fees.
   5.  A cause of action for injunctive relief to prevent a physician from performing abortions may be maintained by the county attorney with appropriate jurisdiction or by the attorney general against a physician who has violated this section.

EXPLANATION



The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.

   This bill relates to abortions performed based on gender selection.

   The bill provides that a physician commits a class “C” felony if the physician performs an abortion which is sought based upon the gender of the fetus, uses force or the threat of force for the purpose of coercing a woman into an abortion based on the gender of the fetus, or solicits or accepts money to perform an abortion based upon the gender of the fetus. The bill provides, however, that a criminal penalty shall not be imposed on a woman upon whom an abortion is performed.

   The bill also requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician shall first certify in writing that the physician is not performing the abortion based on the gender of the fetus and has no knowledge that the woman seeking the abortion is seeking the abortion based upon the gender of the fetus. A copy of the written certification is required to be maintained in the woman’s medical record.

   The bill provides that a woman upon whom a gender-selection abortion is performed in violation of the bill, or the spouse of the woman, may maintain a civil action against the physician who performed the abortion in violation of the bill for actual damages, and provides for awarding of reasonable attorney fees.

   The bill also provides that the county attorney with jurisdiction, or the attorney general, may maintain a cause of action for injunctive relief to prevent a physician from performing abortions if the physician has violated a provision of the bill.




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