H. B. 2555
(By Delegates Hatfield, Brown and Amores)
[Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated
, all relating to "Crisis Pregnancy
Organizations"; providing definitions; providing limitations
and requirements relative to when crisis pregnancy
organizations may render services to women with unplanned or
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, be amended by adding
thereto a new article, designated
§16-2J-2 and §16-2J-3
all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2J. WOMEN'S RIGHT TO KNOW.
For the purposes of this article the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) "Crisis pregnancy organization" means a private,
not-or-profit agency or organization that provides services and
counseling to women who have unplanned or unwanted pregnancies; and
(b) "Medically accurate" means verified or supported by
research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and
published in peer-review journals, where appropriate, and
recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations
and agencies with relevant expertise in the field, such as the
American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
§16-2J-2. Restrictions on providing services.
Services may not be provided to a pregnant woman by any person
who is employed by, a volunteer at, or in any manner affiliated
with, a crisis pregnancy organization except with the voluntary and
informed consent of the pregnant woman. Consent to the provision
of services from a crisis pregnancy organization is voluntary and
informed only if all of the following conditions are met, before
any services are provided:
(a) The crisis pregnancy organization provides the pregnant
woman with the following information, orally and in writing:
(1) A medically accurate and objective explanation of the full
range of options available to her regarding her pregnancy,
including abortion, parenting and adoption;
(2) Medically accurate and objective information on the range of medical risks associated with abortion, pregnancy and
(3) That she has the right to obtain printed materials listing
medical clinics and hospitals that provide abortion services.
(b) If the pregnant woman so requests, the crisis pregnancy
organization, shall provide her with geographically indexed,
printed materials that contain a comprehensive list of the medical
clinics and hospitals that provide abortion services.
(c) The pregnant woman certifies in writing that the
information described in subsection (a) of this section has been
provided to her and that she has been informed of her right to
review the printed materials described in subsection (b) of this
(d) The crisis pregnancy organization receives a copy of the
certification required in subsection (c) of this section.
(e) The following notice is posted prominently at the crisis
pregnancy organization's premises: "None of our services are
provided by licensed medical professionals. We will provide
information on how to obtain an abortion, abortion services or
birth control information."
(f) The crisis pregnancy organization distributes a prenatal
care and parenting pamphlet based on medically accurate information
provided by the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
and the American Medical Association of Pediatricians.
§16-2J-3. Right of action.
A pregnant woman who receives services from a person employed
by, a volunteer at, or in any manner affiliated with, a crisis
pregnancy organization, who knowingly provided those services in
violation of this article may maintain an action against the crisis
pregnancy organization for actual and punitive damages.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to address certain
perimeters regarding when private organizations may counsel
pregnant women concerning the prospect of abortion. The bill
defines the terms
"Crisis Pregnancy Organizations" and "medically
accurate". It provides limitations and requirements relative to
when crisis pregnancy organizations may render services to women
with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Finally, it provides a
cause of action for women who are knowingly provided services in
violation of the provisions of the article.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.