HB2125: Abortion; prohibits those coerced and provides civil remedy.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 18.2-76.01 as follows:
§ 18.2-76.01. Coerced abortions; civil remedy.
A. If a patient schedules an appointment for an abortion, the physician or qualified person assisting the physician shall ensure that the patient's request for an abortion is not the result of intimidation or coercion by doing both of the following:
1. Providing the patient with a copy of the notice described under subsection C and orally informing the patient that certain actions to pressure a female into having an abortion are unlawful and grounds for a civil action, but clarifying that discussions about the options available, including personal or intensely emotional expressions about such options, are not necessarily coercive and illegal.
2. Asking the patient if the patient's husband, parents, siblings, relatives, or employer, the father or putative father of the fetus, the parents of the father or putative father of the fetus, or any other individual in a position of authority over the patient has threatened, intimidated, or coerced her into seeking an abortion.
B. If a patient who is under the age of 18 indicates that she is the victim of intimidation or coercion, the physician or qualified person assisting the physician shall contact child protective services.
C. Any facility in which abortions are performed shall post in a conspicuous place in an area of its facility that is accessible to patients, employees, and visitors a notice stating that it is unlawful for anyone to coerce or intimidate a female into seeking an abortion.
D. If a patient still seeks an abortion after the requirements of subsections A and B have been fulfilled, the physician may, after obtaining the patient's signature on the acknowledgment and consent form as required under § 18.2-76, perform the abortion.
E. Any female who is intimidated or coerced into having an abortion against her will is entitled to bring a civil action, within one year following her eighteenth birthday or within one year following the date of the abortion if the female is more than 18 years of age at the time of the abortion, against the person who intimidated or coerced her into having an abortion. In addition to the action for herself, the female shall have a right of action for wrongful death of the unborn child against the person who intimidated or coerced her into having an abortion.
F. For the purposes of this section, the terms "intimidation or coercion" shall include pressure and threats, whether physical, emotional, psychological or otherwise, by any person including the threat of loss of employment or any social assistance of any type in which such pregnant female is already participating.