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Sec. 151.002: Rights of a Living Child After an Abortion Or Premature Birth; Civil Penalty; Criminal Offense

(a) A living human child born alive after an abortion or premature birth is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are granted by the laws of this state to any other child born alive after the normal gestation period.

(b) In this code, "born alive" means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which, after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Each product of the birth is considered born alive.

(c) For purposes of this section, a physician-patient relationship is established between a child born alive after an abortion and the physician who performed or attempted to perform the abortion. The physician must exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious physician would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. In this subsection, "professional skill, care, and diligence" includes a requirement that the physician who performed or attempted the abortion ensure that the child born alive be immediately transferred to a hospital.

(d) A woman on whom an abortion, as defined by Section 245.002, Health and Safety Code, is performed or attempted to be performed may not be held liable under this section.

(e) A physician who violates Subsection (c) by failing to provide the appropriate medical treatment to a child born alive after an abortion or an attempted abortion is liable to the state for a civil penalty of not less than $100,000. The attorney general may bring a suit to collect the penalty. In addition to the civil penalty, the attorney general may recover reasonable attorney's fees. The civil penalty described in this subsection is in addition to any other recovery authorized under other law.

(f) A person who has knowledge of a failure to comply with this section shall report to the attorney general. The identity and any personally identifiable information of the person reporting the failure to comply with this section is confidential under Chapter 552, Government Code.

(g) A physician or health care practitioner who violates Subsection (c) by failing to provide the appropriate medical treatment to a child born alive after an abortion or an attempted abortion commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 151.004 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 2.13, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1272 (H.B. 16), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1272 (H.B. 16), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2019.