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Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 3209. Spousal notice

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(a) Spousal notice required.--In order to further the Commonwealth's interest in promoting the integrity of the marital relationship and to protect a spouse's interests in having children within marriage and in protecting the prenatal life of that spouse's child, no physician shall perform an abortion on a married woman, except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), unless he or she has received a signed statement, which need not be notarized, from the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed, that she has notified her spouse that she is about to undergo an abortion. The statement shall bear a notice that any false statement made therein is punishable by law.

(b) Exceptions.--The statement certifying that the notice required by subsection (a) has been given need not be furnished where the woman provides the physician a signed statement certifying at least one of the following:

(1) Her spouse is not the father of the child.

(2) Her spouse, after diligent effort, could not be located.

(3) The pregnancy is a result of spousal sexual assault as described in section 3128 (relating to spousal sexual assault), which has been reported to a law enforcement agency having the requisite jurisdiction.

(4) The woman has reason to believe that the furnishing of notice to her spouse is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her by her spouse or by another individual.

Such statement need not be notarized, but shall bear a notice that any false statements made therein are punishable by law.

(c) Medical emergency.--The requirements of subsection (a) shall not apply in case of a medical emergency.

(d) Forms.--The department shall cause to be published forms which may be utilized for purposes of providing the signed statements required by subsections (a) and (b). The department shall distribute an adequate supply of such forms to all abortion facilities in this Commonwealth.

(e) Penalty; civil action.--Any physician who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of “unprofessional conduct,” and his or her license for the practice of medicine and surgery shall be subject to suspension or revocation in accordance with procedures provided under the act of October 5, 1978 (P.L. 1109, No. 261), known as the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act,  1 the act of December 20, 1985 (P.L. 457, No. 112), known as the Medical Practice Act of 1985,  2 or their successor acts. In addition, any physician who knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be civilly liable to the spouse who is the father of the aborted child for any damages caused thereby and for punitive damages in the amount of $5,000, and the court shall award a prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney fee as part of costs.

1 63 P.S. § 271.1 et seq.
2 63 P.S. § 422.1 et seq.

Cite this article: - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 3209. Spousal notice - last updated January 01, 2022 |

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