Hyannis abortion death generates legislation

Laura Hope Smith's death may change state abortion law

Bill targets licensing of facilities that perform abortions

16 unlicensed facilities in Massachusetts, bill changes definition of the word "clinic"

A lawyer for the family of a woman who allegedly died during an abortion procedure at an unlicensed facility plans to testify before lawmakers on Tuesday in favor of legislation requiring all non-hospital facilities performing abortions to be licensed and inspected, according to Mass. Citizens for Life.

Laura Hope Smith (on the right coutesy of Life Dynamics) died during an abortion at a facility in Hyannis and her family subsequently won a malpractice suit, according to the advocacy group.

See the stories about Ms. Smith below. See Laura's mother's Twitter page here.

There are 16 facilities where abortions are performed that are not licensed or inspected, according to Mass Citizens for Life, which is pressing for passage of legislation (H 2039) sponsored by Reps. Elizabeth Poirier and John Rogers. Attorney David Angueira plans to testify before the Public Health Committee for the bill, which strikes and replaces the definition of a "clinic," on behalf of the Smith family. The hearing begins June 2, 2015, at 1 p.m. in Room B-2 of the State House.

The text of the bill is below:

Section 1: Section 52 of Chapter 111 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the definition of “clinic,” as appearing therein, and replacing it with the following:

“Clinic,” any activity, however organized, whether conducted for profit or not for profit, which is advertised, announced, established, or maintained for the purpose of providing ambulatory medical, surgical, dental, physical rehabilitation, or mental health services. In addition, “clinic” shall include any entity, however organized, whether conducted for profit or not for profit, which is not a hospital and which is advertised, announced, established or maintained for the purpose of performing and does perform more than ten (10) abortions per year. In addition, “clinic” shall include any entity, however organized, whether conducted for profit or not for profit, which is advertised, announced, established, or maintained under a name which includes the word “clinic,” “dispensary,” or “institute,” and which suggests that ambulatory medical, surgical, dental, physical rehabilitation, or mental health services are rendered therein. With respect to any entity which is not advertised, announced, established, or maintained under one of the names in the preceding sentence, ”clinic” shall not include a medical office building, or one or more practitioners engaged in a solo or group practice whether conducted for profit or not for profit, and however organized, so long as the practitioners in such medical office building and the practitioners engaged in such solo or group practice do not perform more than ten (10) abortions per year, and so long as such practice is wholly owned and controlled by one or more of the practitioners so associated, or, in the case of a not for profit organization, its only members are one or more of the practitioners so associated or a clinic established solely to provide service to employees or students of such corporation or institution. For purposes of this section, “clinic” shall not include a clinic conducted by a hospital licensed under section fifty-one or by the federal government or the commonwealth.


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