Section 22-9A-13

Reports of fetal death; reports of induced termination of pregnancy.

(a) A report of fetal death shall be filed with the Office of Vital Statistics, or as otherwise directed by the State Registrar, within five days after the occurrence is known if the fetus has advanced to, or beyond, the twentieth week of uterogestation.

(1) When a fetal death occurs in an institution, the person in charge of the institution or his or her designated representative shall prepare and file the report.

(2) When a fetal death occurs outside an institution, the physician in attendance shall prepare and file the report.

(3) When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, the county medical examiner, the state medical examiner, or the coroner shall determine the cause of fetal death and shall prepare and file the report.

(4) When a fetal death occurs in a moving conveyance and the fetus is first removed from the conveyance in this state or when a dead fetus is found in this state and the place of fetal death is unknown, the fetal death shall be reported in this state. The county where the fetus was first removed from the conveyance or the dead fetus was found shall be considered the county of fetal death.

(b) A report of induced termination of pregnancy for each induced termination of pregnancy which occurs in this state shall be filed with the Office of Vital Statistics, or as otherwise directed by the State Registrar, no later than 10 days after the last day of the month during which the procedure was performed.

(1) When the induced termination of pregnancy is performed in an institution, the person in charge of the institution or his or her designated representative shall prepare and file the report.

(2) When the induced termination of pregnancy is performed outside an institution, the physician in attendance shall prepare and file the report.

(3) Beginning January 1, 2012, the Office of Vital Statistics shall collect the following information for all induced terminations of pregnancies in addition to information already collected; provided, that the definition of induced termination of pregnancy in Section 22-9A-1(5) shall be construed to include every abortion as defined in Section 26-23B-3(1).

a. Postfertilization age:

1. If a determination of probable postfertilization age was made, whether ultrasound was employed in making the determination, and the week of probable postfertilization age determined.

2. If a determination of probable postfertilization age was not made, the basis of the determination that a medical emergency existed.

b. Method of abortion: Which of the following was employed:

1. Medication abortion (such as, but not limited to, mifepristone/misoprostol or methotrexate/misoprostol).

2. Manual vacuum aspiration.

3. Electrical vacuum aspiration.

4. Dilation and evacuation.

5. Combined induction abortion and dilation and evacuation.

6. Induction abortion with prostaglandins.

7. Induction abortion with intra-amniotic instillation (such as, but not limited to, saline or urea).

8. Induction abortion, other.

9. Intact dilation and extraction (partial-birth).

10. Method not listed (specify).

c. Whether an intra-fetal injection was used in an attempt to induce fetal demise (such as, but not limited to, intra-fetal potassium chloride or digoxin).

d. Age and race of the patient.

e. If the probable postfertilization age was determined to be 20 or more weeks, the basis of the determination that the pregnant woman had a condition which so complicated her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions.

f. If the probable postfertilization age was determined to be 20 or more weeks, whether or not the method of abortion used was one that, in reasonable medical judgment, provided the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive and, if such a method was not used, the basis of the determination that termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk either of the death of the pregnant woman or of the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the woman than would other available methods.

(4) Reports of induced termination of pregnancy shall not contain the name or the address of the patient whose pregnancy was terminated, nor shall the report contain any other information identifying the patient, except that each report shall contain a unique medical record identifying number, to enable matching the report to the patient's medical records.

(5) Individual induced termination of pregnancy reports shall be maintained in strict confidence by the Office of Vital Statistics, shall not be available for public inspection, and shall not be made available except:

a. To the Attorney General or a district attorney with appropriate jurisdiction pursuant to a criminal investigation.

b. To the Attorney General or a district attorney pursuant to a civil investigation of the grounds for an action under subsection (b) of Section 26-23B-7.

c. Pursuant to court order in an action under Section 26-23B-7.

d. Pursuant to investigations under Section 22-9A-25.

e. At the request of the board or its attorney pursuant to an investigation of civil or criminal legal action related to licensure or the need for licensure of health facilities or similar investigation or legal action for failure to file reports required by this section.

f. As provided in subdivision (6).

(6) The Office of Vital Statistics shall annually issue a public report providing aggregate data for the previous calendar year compiled from all of the reports covering that year submitted in accordance with this section for each of the items listed in subdivision (3). Each report shall also provide aggregate data for each such item for all previous calendar years during which this section was in effect, adjusted to reflect any additional information from late or corrected reports. The Office of Vital Statistics shall take care to ensure that none of the information included in the public reports could reasonably lead to the identification of any pregnant woman upon whom an induced termination of pregnancy was performed or attempted and shall not release the names of individual physicians or other staff members employed by institutions performing induced terminations of pregnancy. The Office of Vital Statistics shall not release the number of procedures performed by any particular physician, but shall include in each public report the number of induced terminations of pregnancy, by method and week of postfertilization age, reported by each institution. Information that may not be publicly released under this subdivision shall be made available only as provided with regard to individual induced termination of pregnancy reports in subdivision (5).

(7) The State Registrar may authorize the use of other aggregate statistical data for official government use.

(c) The reports required under this section are statistical reports only and are not to be incorporated into the official records of the Office of Vital Statistics. Certified copies of these records shall not be issued by the Office of Vital Statistics. The State Registrar shall retain and safeguard all individual reports received, making them available only as provided in subdivision (5).

(d) The Office of Vital Statistics, in advance of 2013 and each succeeding calendar year, shall determine whether as a result of changes in abortion practice the list of methods of abortion for reports of induced termination of pregnancy to be used during that calendar year should be modified from those listed in subdivision (3)b. of subsection (b) so as to add new methods, modify the description of methods, or delete methods no longer in use, and shall issue a public notice incorporating changes based on that determination.

(e) The Office of Vital Statistics may charge a filing fee for each report of induced termination of pregnancy required by this section calculated to be sufficient, based on the number of reports estimated to be filed, to recoup and cover the costs to the Office of Vital Statistics of fulfilling its duties under subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, of this section.

(Acts 1992, No. 92-607, p. 1255, §13; Act 2011-672, p. 1784, §6; Act 2012-363, p. 904, §1(b)(2).)