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Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 3203. Definitions

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The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

“Abortion.”  The use of any means to terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman with knowledge that the termination by those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child except that, for the purposes of this chapter, abortion shall not mean the use of an intrauterine device or birth control pill to inhibit or prevent ovulation, fertilization or the implantation of a fertilized ovum within the uterus.

“Born alive.”  When used with regard to a human being, means that the human being was completely expelled or extracted from her or his mother and after such separation breathed or showed evidence of any of the following:  beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, definite movement of voluntary muscles or any brain-wave activity.

“Complication.”  Includes but is not limited to hemorrhage, infection, uterine perforation, cervical laceration and retained products.  The department may further define complication.

“Conscience.”  A sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from belief in and relation to a deity or which, though not so derived, obtains from a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by a deity among adherents to religious faiths.

“Department.”  The Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“Facility” or “medical facility.”  Any public or private hospital, clinic, center, medical school, medical training institution, health care facility, physician's office, infirmary, dispensary, ambulatory surgical treatment center or other institution or location wherein medical care is provided to any person.

“Fertilization” and “conception.”  Each term shall mean the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum.

“First trimester.”  The first 12 weeks of gestation.

“Gestational age.”  The age of the unborn child as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.

“Hospital.”  An institution licensed pursuant to the provisions of the law of this Commonwealth.

“In vitro fertilization.”  The purposeful fertilization of a human ovum outside the body of a living human female.

“Medical emergency.”  That condition which, on the basis of the physician's good faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function.

“Medical personnel.”  Any nurse, nurse's aide, medical school student, professional or any other person who furnishes, or assists in the furnishing of, medical care.

“Physician.”  Any person licensed to practice medicine in this Commonwealth.  The term includes medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy.

“Pregnancy” and “pregnant.”  Each term shall mean that female reproductive condition of having a developing fetus in the body and commences with fertilization.

“Probable gestational age of the unborn child.”  What, in the judgment of the attending physician, will with reasonable probability be the gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is planned to be performed.

“Unborn child” and “fetus.”  Each term shall mean an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.

“Viability.”  That stage of fetal development when, in the judgment of the physician based on the particular facts of the case before him and in light of the most advanced medical technology and information available to him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the unborn child outside the body of his or her mother, with or without artificial support.

Cite this article: - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 3203. Definitions - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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