NEW YORK - TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY (ABORTION)

January 1, 2008

New York state laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. What are the restrictions on the performance of abortions by physicians?

The termination of pregnancy at any stage of gestation is a procedure which may be performed only by a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the State of New York. An abortion must be performed in accordance with the medical staff rules of the hospital or qualifying facility where such procedures performed.

(18 N.Y.C.R.R. 505.2)

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 405.12 (c);18 N.Y.C.R.R. 505.2)

Up to and including the twelfth week of pregnancy, an induced termination of pregnancy may be performed outside of a hospital or treatment center. After twelve weeks, such procedure shall be performed in a hospital and on an inpatient basis only.

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 12.20)

Prior to admission or as soon after as practicable, but before the induced termination of pregnancy, the blood group and Rh type of a patient admitted for such procedure shall be determined. Such information shall be recorded in the patient's chart.

The patient shall also be evaluated for sensitivity to Rho(D) antigen. If the use of RH immune globulin is indicated and the patient consents, an appropriate dosage of globulin shall be administered to the patient as soon as possible after the termination of pregnancy, but no later than 72 hours thereafter.

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 405.12 (c))

The operator of a medical facility performing abortions shall ensure that all physicians performing abortions at such facility are qualified by training and experience to perform such procedures and that at least one of the physicians performing such procedure has admitting privileges at a hospital. The operator shall also ensure that a licensed nurse is present in each treatment room where an abortion procedure is being performed.

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 756.4; 10 N.Y.C.R.R. 756.4 (c))

The operator of a medical facility performing abortions shall ensure that there is a review of any complications encountered in connection with the performance of an abortive procedure. The findings of such review shall be used in the development and revision of policies concerning the renewing and granting of staff privileges.

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 756.6)

2. What are the procedures for disposal of tissues?

A permit is required to remove, transport, bury or otherwise dispose of remains resulting from a fetal death. A permit is not acquired for the removal of fetal tissue.

(Public Health Law § 4162)

Fetal tissues are regulated medical waste and shall disposed of in a manner consistent with the regulations regarding the disposal thereof. See chapter on "regulated medical waste."

3. May a physician refuse to perform an abortion?

Physicians are not under any legal obligation to perform abortions. No one, including physicians, can be required to perform or assist in an abortion. Refusal to perform these services cannot subject a physician to liability (civil or criminal) disciplinary action or discriminatory treatment.

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 505.2 (e)(ii))

4. May a hospital or other health care facility refuse to perform an abortion?

No hospital or other health care facility is required to perform an abortion or other sterilization service or procedure.

(10 N.Y.C.R.R. 405.9 (10))

5. Does a physician need parental consent for a minor seeking an abortion?

No. Any person who is pregnant may give consent for medical, dental, health and hospital services relating to prenatal care.

(Public Health Law § 2504)

Copyright Kern Augustine Conroy and Schoppmann, P.C. Used with permission.