TITLE 24

Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 17. MEDICAL PRACTICE ACT

Subchapter IX. Termination of Human Pregnancy


(a) No person shall terminate or attempt to terminate or assist in the termination or attempt at termination of a human pregnancy otherwise than by birth, except that a physician licensed by this State may terminate a human pregnancy or aid or assist or attempt a termination of a human pregnancy if such procedure takes place in a hospital accredited by a nationally recognized medical or hospital accreditation authority, upon authorization by a hospital abortion review authority appointed by the hospital if 1 or more of the following conditions exist:

(1) Continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the mother;

(2) There is substantial risk of the birth of the child with grave and permanent physical deformity or mental retardation;

(3) The pregnancy resulted from:

a. Incest, or

b. A rape or unlawful sexual intercourse in the first or second degree committed as a result of force or bodily harm or threat of force or bodily harm, and the Attorney General of this State has certified to the hospital abortion review authority in writing over the Attorney General's signature that there is probable cause to believe that the alleged rape or unlawful sexual intercourse in the first or second degree did occur, except that during the first 48 hours after the alleged rape or unlawful sexual intercourse in the first or second degree no certification by the Attorney General shall be required;

(4) Continuation of the pregnancy would involve substantial risk of permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the mother.

(b) In no event shall any physician terminate or attempt to terminate or assist in the termination or attempt at termination of a human pregnancy otherwise than by birth unless:

(1) Not more than 20 weeks of gestation have passed (except in the case of a termination pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section or where the fetus is dead); and

(2) Two physicians licensed by this State, 1 of whom may be the physician proposed to perform the abortion, certify to the abortion review authority of the hospital where the procedure is to be performed that they are of the opinion, formed in good faith, that 1 of the circumstances set forth in subsection (a) of this section exists (except that no such certification is necessary for the circumstances set forth in paragraph (a)(3)b. of this section); where the personal physician of an expectant mother claims that she has a mental or emotional condition, a psychiatrist licensed by this State shall, in addition to the personal physician, certify to the abortion review authority of the hospital where such procedure is to be performed that the physician is of the opinion, formed in good faith, that 1 of the circumstances set forth in subsection (a) of this section exists (except that no such certification is necessary for the circumstances set forth in paragraph (a)(3)b. of this section); and

(3) In the case of an unmarried female under the age of 18 or mentally ill or incompetent, there is filed with the hospital abortion review authority the written consent of the parents or guardians as are then residing in the same household with the consenting female, or, if such consenting female does not reside in the same household with either of her parents or guardians, then with the written consent of 1 of her parents or guardians.

(c) The hospital abortion review authority of each hospital in which a procedure or procedures are performed pursuant to this section shall, on or before March 1 in each year, file with the Department of Health and Social Services a written report of each such procedure performed pursuant to the authorization of such authority during the preceding calendar year setting forth grounds for each such authorization but not including the names of patients aborted.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 1790; 57 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 235, §§ 1, 2; 58 Del. Laws, c. 511, § 55; 66 Del. Laws, c. 269, § 16; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 211; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person shall be required to perform or participate in medical procedures which result in the termination of pregnancy; and the refusal of any person to perform or participate in these medical procedures shall not be a basis for civil liability to any person, nor a basis for any disciplinary or other recriminatory action against the person.

(b) No hospital, hospital director or governing board shall be required to permit the termination of human pregnancies within its institution, and the refusal to permit such procedures shall not be grounds for civil liability to any person, nor a basis for any disciplinary or other recriminatory action against it by the State or any person.

(c) The refusal of any person to submit to an abortion or to give consent shall not be grounds for loss of any privileges or immunities to which such person would otherwise be entitled, nor shall submission to an abortion or the granting of consent be a condition precedent to the receipt of any public benefits.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 1791; 57 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No person shall, unless the termination of a human pregnancy has been authorized pursuant to § 1790 of this title:

(1) Sell or give, or cause to be sold or given, any drug, medicine, preparation, instrument or device for the purpose of causing, inducing or obtaining a termination of such pregnancy; or

(2) Give advice, counsel or information for the purpose of causing, inducing or obtaining a termination of such pregnancy; or

(3) Knowingly assist or cause by any means whatsoever the obtaining or performing of a termination of such pregnancy.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 1792; 57 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) No person shall be authorized to perform a termination of a human pregnancy within the State upon a female who has not been a resident of this State for a period of at least 120 days next before the performance of an operative procedure for the termination of a human pregnancy.

(b) This section shall not apply to such female who is gainfully employed in this State at the time of conception, or whose spouse is gainfully employed in this State at the time of conception or to such female who has been a patient, prior to conception, of a physician licensed by this State, or to such female who is attempting to secure the termination of her pregnancy for the condition specified in § 1790(a)(1) of this title.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 1793; 57 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 3(A); 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No abortion may be performed unless the woman submitting to the abortion first gives her written consent to the abortion stating that she freely and voluntarily consents to the abortion and that she has received a full explanation of the abortion procedure and effects, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The abortion procedure to be utilized.

(2) The probable effects of the abortion procedure on the woman, including the effects on her child-bearing ability and effects on possible future pregnancies.

(3) The facts of fetal development as of the time the proposed abortion is to be performed.

(4) The risks attendant to the procedure.

(5) An explanation of the reasonable alternatives to abortion and of the reasonable alternative procedures or methods of abortion.

(b) No abortion may be performed on a woman within 24 hours after giving written consent pursuant to subsection (a) of this section unless, in the opinion of her treating physician, an emergency situation presenting substantial danger to the life of the woman exists.

In the event a woman's treating physician determines an abortion is necessary because an emergency situation presenting substantial danger to the life of the woman existed and such woman is unable to give her consent to an abortion, an abortion may be performed on such woman.

62 Del. Laws, c. 171, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) In the event an abortion or an attempted abortion results in the live birth of a child, the person performing or inducing such abortion or attempted abortion and all persons rendering medical care to the child after its birth must exercise that degree of medical skill, care and diligence which would be rendered to a child who is born alive as the result of a natural birth.

(b) Nothing found in this section shall be deemed to preclude prosecution under any other applicable section of the Delaware Code for knowing or reckless conduct which is detrimental to the life or health of an infant born as a result of a procedure designed to terminate pregnancy. Anyone who knowingly violates this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

63 Del. Laws, c. 353, § 1.;